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AL-MURAJA^AT: 

A Shfi-Sunni 

Dialogue 

By 

SayyitTAbdul-Husayo Sharafcd-DSial-Masawi 



Translated from At Arabic by 

Yasm T. al-Jibouri 







Al-Muraja'at 
Shi'i-Sunni dialogue 



Al-Muraja'at 

A Shi'i-Sunni dialogue 

(also known as 'The Right Path') 

Sayyid 'Abd al-Husayn Sharaf al-Din al-Musawi 



Translated from the Arabic by 
Yasin T. al-Jibouri 

Published in May 1994 by the 

Imam Husayn (as) Islamic Foundation 

Beirut, Lebanon 



Sayyid 'Abd al-Husayn Sharaf al-Din al-Musawi 



Al-Muraja'at 
Shi'i-Sunni dialogue 



Table of Contents 

Title 

Author's Biography 

Introduction and Foreword 

Letter 1 

I Greeting the Debater, 

II Asking Permission to Debate. 

Letter 2 

I Greetings Reciprocated, 

II Permission to Debate Granted. 

Letter 3 

I Why do ShTas not Uphold the Majority's Sects? 

II The Need for Unity, 

III Unity Achieved Only by Adhering to the Majority's Sects. 

Letter 4 

I Juristic Proofs Mandate Adherence to the Sect 
of Ahl alBayt, 

II There is No Proof for Mandating Adherence to 
the Majority's Sects, 

III Generations of The First Three Centuries Never Knew Those Sects, 

IV Possibility of Ijtihad, 

V Unity can be Achieved by Respecting Ahl al Bayt's Sect. 

Letter 5 

I Admitting Our Argument, 

II Asking for Detailed Proofs. 

Letter 6 

I References to Proofs Mandating Following the 
v Itra, 

II The Commander of the Faithful (as) Invites to 
Ahl al Bayt's Sect, 

III Relevant Statement of Imam Zainul v Abidin. 

Letter 7 

I Requesting Proofs from Statements by Allah and His Messenger, 

II Proofs from Ahl al Bayt are Circumventive. 

Letter 8 

I Overlooking Our Previous Statements, 

II Error in Necessity of (Logical) Cycle, 

III Hadith of the Two Weighty Things, 



Sayyid 'Abd al-Husayn Sharaf al-Din al-Musawi 



Al-Muraja'at 
Shi'i-Sunni dialogue 



IV Its Tawatur, 

V Non Adherents to the v Itra Shall Stray, 

VI Their Similitude to the ark of Noah, the Gate 
of Salvation, and the Security Against Religious 
Dissensions, 

VII What is Meant by "Ahl al Bayt" in this Regard, 

VIII Reasons for Similitude to Noah's Ark and the 
Gate of Salvation. 

Letter 9 

Requesting More Relevant Texts 

Letter 1 

A Glimpse of Sufficient Texts 

Letter 1 1 

I Admiring Our Clear Texts, 

II Wondering at Compromising Them With the Majority's Beliefs, 

III Asking for Clear Signs from the Book. A Glimpse of Sufficient Texts 

Letter 1 2 
Qur'anic Proofs 

Letter 1 3 

Argument Regarding These Traditions Weak 

Letter 14 

I Fallacy of Opponent's Argument, 

II Opponents do not Know Shi v as, 

III Distinction of Emphasizing Illegality of 
Falsifying Hadith. 

Letter 1 5 

I A Flash of the Truth, 

II Requesting Details on Sunnis Relying on Shi'a Authorities. 

Letter 1 6 

A Hundred Shfa Authorities Relied upon by 

Sunnis 

Letter 1 7 

I Appreciating the debater's sentiments, 

II Admitting There is no Objection if Ahlel-Sunnah Rely on Shfa Authorities, 

III His belief in the Miracles of Ahl al-Bayt, 

IV Dilemma at Compromising the Above with what Ahl Al-Qibla do. 

Letter 1 8 

I Sentiments Reciprocated, 

II Debater's Error in Generalizing Regarding Ahl al-Qibla, 

III The Nation's Politicians are the Ones Who Turned Away from Ahl al-Bayt, 

Sayyid 'Abd al-Husayn Sharaf al-Din al-Musawi 



Al-Muraja'at 
Shi'i-Sunni dialogue 



IV The Imams of Ahl al-Bayt (without any 
argument) are not Inferior to others, 

V Which Fair Court Judges Calling Their Followers "Strayers"? 

Letter 1 9 

I No Fair Arbitrator Would Call Followers of Ahl al-Bayt Strayers, 

II Following Their Sects is Carrying out the Responsibility, 

III It Could be Said that They Have the Priority to 
Lead, 

IV Requesting Texts Relevant to the Khilafate. 

Letter 20 

I A General Reference to the Texts, 

II A Reference to the House on the Day of 
Warning, 

III Sunni Reporters of this Hadith. 

Letter 21 



Raising Doubts about the Hadith's Authenticity 

Letter 22 

I Proving the Text's Authenticity, 

II Why the Shaykhs Have Not Reported it, 

III Whoever Knows These Shaykhs Knows Why. 

Letter 23 

I Convinced of the Authenticity of this Hadith, 

II Unreliability Based on Non-Sequential Narration, 

III Its Reference to Restricted Succession, 

IV Its Rebuttal. 

Letter 24 

I Why Relying on this Hadith, 

II Restricted Succession is Unanimously Rejected, 

III Revocation is Impossible. 

Letter 25 

I His Belief in the Text, 

II Requesting More Texts. 

Letter 26 

I Clear Texts Recounting Ten of 'Ali's Exclusive 
Merits, 

II Why Rely Upon it. 

Letter 27 

Raising Doubts About the Status Hadith 

Letter 28 

I The Status Hadith Stands on Most Solid Grounds, 

Sayyid 'Abd al-Husayn Sharaf al-Din al-Musawi 



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II Binding Proofs, 

III Its Sunni Narrators, 

IV Why al-Amidi Suspects It. 

Letter 29 

I Believing in Our Arguments Regarding the 
Hadith's Sanad, 

II Doubting its General Application, 

III Doubting its being Binding. 

Letter 30 

I Arabs Regard it General, 

II Disproving Claim of Restriction, 

III Disproving its Non-Binding Application 

Letter 31 



Requesting Sources of this Hadith 

Letter 32 

I Among Its Sources: the Prophet's Visit to Umm 
Salim, 

II The Case of Hamzah's Daughter, 

III Leaning on 'Ali, 

IV The First Fraternity, 

V The Second Fraternity, 

VI Closing the Doors, 

VII The Prophet Comparing 'Ali and Aaron to the Two Stars 

Letter 33 

When was v Ali and Aaron Described as the Two 

Stars? 

Letter 34 

I The Occasion of Shabar, Shubayr, and Mushbir, 

II The Occasion of Fraternity, 

III The Occasion of Closing the Doors. 

Letter 35 

Requesting Other Texts 

Letter 36 

I Hadith by Ibn v Abbas, 

II 'Umran's Hadith, 

III Buraydah's Hadith, 

IV Hadith Recounting Ten Exclusive Attributes 
[oF Ali], 

V ^Ali's Hadith, 

VI Wahab's Hadith, 

VII Ibn Abu ^Asim's Hadith. 



Sayyid 'Abd al-Husayn Sharaf al-Din al-Musawi 



Al-Muraja'at 
Shi'i-Sunni dialogue 



Letter 37 

"Wali" is a Linguistic Denominator; so, Where is the Text? 

Letter 38 

I Explaining the Implications of "Wali" 

II Proving its Connotation 

Letter 39 

Requesting the Wilayat Verse 

Letter 40 

I The Verse of Wilayat and its Revelation in v Ali's 
Honour, 

II Why it was Revealed, 

III Why Using it as a Testimonial. 

Letter 41 



"Mumins" is Plural; Why Apply it to the Singular? 

Letter 42 

I Arabs Address the Singular Using the Plural 
Form, 

II Testimonials, 

III Quoting Imam al-Tibrisi, 

IV Quoting al-Zamakhshari, 

V What I have Stated. 

Letter 43 

Context Denotes "the Loved one," or the Like. 

Letter 44 

I Context is not Indicative of "Supporter," or the 
Like, 

II Context does not Outweigh the Proofs. 

Letter 45 

Resorting to Interpretation, Following in the 

Footsteps of the Predecessors, is Unavoidable. 

Letter 46 

I Believing in the Ancestors does not Require 
Interpretation 

II Interpretation is Impossible 

Letter 47 

Requesting Testimonial Traditions 

Letter 48 

Forty Ahadith Supporting the Texts 



Sayyid 'Abd al-Husayn Sharaf al-Din al-Musawi 



Al-Muraja'at 
Shi'i-Sunni dialogue 



Letter 49 

I Admitting v Ali's Merits, 

II Such Merits do not Necessitate his Caliphate. 

Letter 50 

Why Interpret Texts on His Behalf as Indicative of His Imamate 

Letter 51 

Rebutting the Arguments Through Similar Ones 

Letter 52 

Rejecting the Rebuttal's Premises 

Letter 53 

Requesting the Hadith Pertaining to the Ghadir 

Incident 

Letter 54 

Glitters of Ahadith Relevant to the Ghadir 

Incident 

Letter 55 

Why Use it as a Testimonial if not Transmitted Consecutively? 

Letter 56 

I Natural Laws Necessitate the Consecutive Reporting of Hadith al-Ghadir 

II The Almighty's Benevolence 

III Concern of the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) 

IV Concern of the Commander of the Faithful 

V al-Husain's Concern 

VI Concern of the Nine Imams (as) 

VII Shi' as' Concern 

Letter 57 

I Interpreting Hadith alGhadir 

II The Link 

Letter 58 

I Hadith al Ghadir Cannot be Interpreted, 

II Pretext for its Interpretation is Speculative and 
Misleading. 

Letter 59 

I Truth Manifests, 

II Evasion. 

Letter 60 
Evasion Refuted 

Letter 61 

Sayyid 'Abd al-Husayn Sharaf al-Din al-Musawi 



Al-Muraja'at 
Shi'i-Sunni dialogue 



Requesting Texts Narrated by Shi" a Sources 

Letter 62 
Forty Ahadith 

Letter 63 

I SrrTa Texts Rejected as Testimonials, 

II Why Have Others Refrained from Quoting 
Them? 

II Why Have Others Refrained from Quoting 
Them? 

III Asking for More Texts. 

Letter 64 

I Above Texts were Quoted upon Request, 

II Sahihs are Proofs against the Majority, 

III Not Quoted Because of Their Existence in Our Own Sahihs. 

Letter 65 

Requesting the Ahadith Relevant to the 

Inheritance 

Letter 66 

"Ali is the Prophet's Heir 

Letter 67 

Where is the Prophet's Will? 

Letter 68 

The Will's Texts 

Letter 69 

Argument of the Will's Deniers 

Letter 70 

I The Will Cannot be Repudiated, 

II Why Denied, 

III Deniers' Arguments not Binding, 

IV Reason and Intellect Require it. 

Letter 71 



Why Reject the Hadith of the Mother of Believers and the best Among the Prophet's 
Consorts? 

Letter 72 

I She Was Not the Best of the Prophet's Consorts, 

II The Best is Khadija, 

III A General Hint to the Reason Why her Hadith 
was Discarded. 



Sayyid 'Abd al-Husayn Sharaf al-Din al-Musawi 



Al-Muraja'at 
Shi'i-Sunni dialogue 



Letter 73 

Requesting an Explanation to our Rejection of 

"Ayesha's Hadith 

Letter 74 

I Explaining Why We Reject her Hadith, 

II Reason Confirms the Will, 

III Her Claim that the Prophet Died on Her Chest is Refuted. 

Letter 75 

I Mother of the Believers is not Ruled by Emotions, 

II The Pleasant and the Ugly are Denied by 
Reason, 

III Why Oppose the Claim of the Mother of Believers? 

Letter 76 

I Her Yielding to Sentiment, 

II Rationale Regarding the Pleasant and the 
Unpleasant, 

III Rejecting the Claim of the Mother of Believers, 

IV Preference of Umm Salamah's Hadith over 
Hers. 

Letter 77 

Why Prefer Umm Salamah's Hadith to 

"Ayesha's? 

Letter 78 

More Reasons for Preferring Umm Salamah's 

Hadith 

Letter 79 

Consensus Endorses al-Siddiq's Caliphate 

Letter 80 
No Consensus 

Letter 81 

Consensus Concluded When Dispute Dissipated. 

Letter 82 

Consensus Was Not Concluded; Dissension Did Not Dissipate 

Letter 83 

Can You Compromise the Text's Accuracy With the Companions' Truthfulness? 

Letter 84 

I Compromising the Text's Accuracy With Their 

Truthfulness, 



Sayyid 'Abd al-Husayn Sharaf al-Din al-Musawi 



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II Rationalizing the Imam's Reluctance to Demand his Right. 

Letter 85 

Requesting Narration of Incidents Wherein They 

Did Not Follow the Texts of Hadith 

Letter 86 

I Thursday's Calamity, 

II The Reason Why the Prophet Repealed His 
Order Then. 

Letter 87 

Justifying and Discussing the Calamity 

Letter 88 
Pretexts Refuted 

Letter 89 

I Admitting the Falsehood of Such Pretexts, 

II Requesting Narration of Other Incidents. 

Letter 90 
Usamah's Regiment 

Letter 91 

I Justifying Their Behaviour Towards Usamah's 
Regiment, 

II No Hadith Curses its Draft Dodgers. 

Letter 92 

I Their Pretexts do not Contradict our Statement, 

II Al-Shahristani's Hadith is Documented. 

Letter 93 

Requesting Narration of Other Incidents 

Letter 94 

His Order (pbuh) to Kill the Renegade 

Letter 95 

Justifying not Killing the Renegade 

Letter 96 
Justification Rejected 

Letter 97 

Requesting Narration of all Such Incidents 

Letter 98 

I Glittering Proofs, 

Sayyid 'Abd al-Husayn Sharaf al-Din al-Musawi 



Al-Muraja'at 11 
Shi'i-Sunni dialogue 



II Reference to Other Incidents. 

Letter 99 

I Their Preference of the Common Interest in 
Those Instances, 

II Requesting the Rest. 

Letter 1 00 

I The Debater Digresses from the Subject-Matter, 

II Responding to His Request. 

Letter 101 

Why didn't the Imam Cite the Ahadith of Caliphate and Wisayat on the Saqifa Day? 

Letter 1 02 

I Why the Imam Abstained on the Saqifa Day from Citing Such Texts, 

II Reference to his and his Followers' Arguments 
Despite Obstacles. 

Letter 1 03 

Looking for His and His Followers' Arguments 

Letter 1 04 

I A Few Incidents When the Imam Argued, 

II The Argument of al-Zahra' (as). 

Letter 1 05 

Requesting Narration of Other Such Incidents 

Letter 1 06 

I Ibn 'Abbas's Argument, 

II Arguments of al-Hasan and al-Husayn, 

III Arguments of Prominant Shi v ah Sahabah, 

IV Reference to their Applying the Will as an 
Argument. 

Letter 1 07 

When did they Mention the Will? 

Letter 1 08 

The Recommendation as Evidence 

Letter 1 09 

Why do Some Fanatics Question the Derivation 
of the Shi' a School of Muslim Law from the 
Imams of Ahl al-Bayt (as)? 

Letter 1 1 

I Shi' ah Faith is Sequentially Derived from the Imams of Ahl al-Bayt, 

II Advancement of Shi'ahs in Recording Knowledge During the Sahabah's Epoch, 

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Al-Muraja'at 12 
Shi'i-Sunni dialogue 



III Their Authors Contemporary to the Tabi'in, and the Latter's Followers. 

Letter 1 1 1 
Conviction 

Letter 112 
Appreciation 

Glossary 



Sayyid 'Abd al-Husayn Sharaf al-Din al-Musawi 



Al-Muraja'at 13 
Shi'i-Sunni dialogue 



Author's Biography 



Only a few names of men, who were distinguished for their gifts and genius which lifted 
them to the highest peaks of recognition, are etched upon the horizons of our Islamic world. 
Such names, like bright stars, have kept glittering in the depth of the skies. 

As for those whose names are portrayed in every horizon of the Islamic world, these, indeed, 
are even fewer. They are a minority. They are none other than those whom nature has 
elevated, achieving such rare genius that made them unique throughout all Islamic lands. 
Among such people is our masterauthor, may Allah rest his soul in peace. The Supreme Will 
has decreed to bless his knowledge and pen, producing from them the best intellectual 
output. I may not exaggerate if I allow my pen to record this: the masterauthor is advanced 
through what he produced to the very front row of Shfa scholars. The latter dedicated their 
entire lives to the service of their religion and school of thought. He, therefore, deservedly 
occupies the front seat among the Muslim world's contemporary elite. 

Within such a limited undertaking, I do not find myself inclined to elaborate on what Sayyid 
v AbdulHusayn Sharafuddin had accomplished in life's spheres and undertakings. The task 
may have been easier had the author being discussed been someone else. It would have been 
easier had the author been among those men whose lives and works were limited. But a man 
whose calibre is as vast as this author makes it very difficult for any writer to describe and 
be fair to. When the writer stands for such an undertaking, he will surely feel as though he is 
facing an entire generation reverberating with hues of life, overflowing from all sides and 
directions. He can hardly refer each hue to its source except through research with full 
responsibilities of logic and knowledge. This may even be beyond the capacity of 
trustworthy historians to tackle. 

THE AUTHOR: 

Birth and Upbringing 

Sayyid "AbdulHusayn Shrafuddin, may Allah expand his shade, was born in Kazimiyya 
(north Baghdad, Iraq) in 1290 A.H. for good parents linked to one another by kinship and 
united through a familytree of good roots. His father is noble Yousuf son of noble Jaw ad son 
of noble Isma'il. His mother is the virtuous Zahra daughter of Sayyid Hadi son of Sayyid 
Muhammad v Ali, ending in a short kinship to Sharafuddin, one of the renown dignitaries of 
this good family. 

He grew up in a house for which the avenues of scholarly mastership had been paved, whose 
pillars were erected upon renown dignitaries of good reputation, whose favour and services 
are acclaimed and appreciated throughout the Islamic world. 

He grew up in that lofty house, nurtured in the gardens of knowledge and ethics, ascending 
the heights of dignity. When he reached tender adolescence, he became fully acquainted 
with the causes of goodness, the following of which made him the embodiment of virtue. 
Upon making his first stride in the scholarly life, he was distinguished by notable 



Sayyid 'Abd al-Husayn Sharaf al-Din al-Musawi 



Al-Muraja'at 14 
Shi'i-Sunni dialogue 

accomplishments and achievements. His students and admirers kept him company. He had a 
reverberating voice in the learning centers of Samarra and al-Najaf alAshraf where he 
achieved distinction. 

Ever since that day, his star had always been shining amidst the circles of knowledge, its 
light extending far and wide as his knowledge expanded. He advanced his stages until the 
scholarly life was cultivated for him at the hands of many a genius among the pillars of 
knowledge in al-Najaf alAshraf and Samarra such as Tabataba'i, Khurasani, FathAllah al- 
Asfahani, Shaykh Hasan alKarbala'i, and many other renown pillars of religion and imams 
of knowledge. 

At "Amila 

When his maturity received recognition, his star in the circles of research and meetings of 
debate and learning started shining, he, at thirtytwo, went back to the mountain of 'Amil, 
south Lebanon, dignified, renown, selfsatisfied, promising, articulate, glowing in brilliance. 
The day of his arrival was memorable. "Amila sent her sons to welcome his arrival, so 
luminous in lands and skies, welcoming him in demonstrations containing men of 
scholarship and public leadership, up to the borders of the mountain from Syria's highway, 
celebrating as though it was v Id. 

His Reforms 

A new life started in 'Amila aiming at strict implementation of religion, improvement of 
manners, the strengthening of right with might, kindness to the weak, the enjoining of right 
and the forbidding of wrong, comfort with the masters of religion and humbleness towards 
the men of knowledge. 

His Eloquence 

His eloquent lectures and terse methods of directives had the largest share in producing the 
much desired reform. This comes as no surprise when we know that the Sayyid possessed 
such an eloquence of speech which made him the envy of Arabia's orators. Religion, 
scholarship and ethics are all proud of him. 

He was great, besides his eloquence, in choosing the jewels of his thoughts, the garbs of his 
opinions which he masterly fitted and organized, breathing life into whatever he desired of 
arguments, explanations, logic, expositions, additions, and into all his works which are 
organized through harmony and equilibrium. 

His Services 

As regarding his contributions to the struggle against foreign colonialism, you may elaborate 
on these as you please. This undertaking does not allow us to go into such struggle in detail; 
however, I may summarize it in one statement: His great services during the Turkish regime, 
then the French occupation, then the postindependence, were simply extensions of the 
movements of liberation. He raised their level of effectiveness and directed them towards the 
noble objectives of securing justice and stability, thus bringing fresh hope to the masses. All 
authorities during these regimes, however, spared no effort to oppose him and undermine his 



Sayyid 'Abd al-Husayn Sharaf al-Din al-Musawi 



Al-Muraja'at 15 
Shi'i-Sunni dialogue 

plans through the implementation of whatever plots, persecution and harmful means they 
could improvise. 

The calamities from which this great imam suffered while trying to make his people happy 
may not have been endured except by the most outstanding Arab chiefs and leaders, those 
who struggled heroically and suffered a great deal in the process. 

I do not need to elaborate on the surprise the occupying French authorities had in store for 
him when they felt sick and tired of him. They instructed some of their hoodlum hardliners 
to assassinate him. Ibn alHallaj suddenly broke into his house when he, together with 
members of his family and kin, had none of his supporters around. Allah the Glorious and 
Sublime willed for him the opposite of their will. He kept their evil away from him, and they 
retreated in humiliation, stumbling in their failure and shame. As soon as the news of this 
surprise attack was broadcast in "Amila, crowds rushed to Sur from each and every direction 
in order to be under the command of their master as to what to do about that incident. Yet 
the Sayyid dispersed them after thanking them, advising them to simply overlook it. 

This incident was succeeded by many, many other similar ones. The gap became wider, and 
dissension exploded until, eventually, the Sayyid, together with his kith and kin among the 
chiefs of 'Amila, had to seek refuge in Damascus which he reached despite the French 
army's attempt to close the highway in his face. The aggressive authority was chasing him 
with some of its armed troops in order to forbid him from reaching Damascus. When it lost 
hope of capturing him, it went back to set his house in Shahur on fire, leaving it in ashes 
strewn in the air; then it set its hands on his big house in Sur after allowing the sinful hands 
to plunder and loot it until they left nothing valuable or otherwise in it. The most damaging 
in that tragedy was the burning of the Sayyid's library with all its precious books and most 
distinguished works including nineteen of his own which were still handwritten 
manuscripts. 

Then he travelled to Egypt during the climax of upheavals which inflicted the region. When 
he arrived there, the Egyptians warmly welcomed him and recognized him in spite of his 
disguise behind a kaffiyya and iqal, outfits common to the bedouins of the desert. He took in 
Egypt certain stands which attracted the attention of the elite among the scholars of 
knowledge, the pillars of literature, and the men of politics, according to the demands of his 
revered personality. 

That was not his first visit to Egypt. Egypt knew him eight years earlier when he visited it at 
the close of 1329 A.H., staying in it till the year 1330 A.H. during a trip in pursuit of 
knowledge. He met then with the researchers and masterminds of learned Egyptians. After 
that, he and Shaykh Salim alBishri, the then rector of alAzhar, met quite often and 
exchanged discussions dealing with the significant matters of Kalam (logic) and Usui (basics 
of jurisprudence). Among the results of those meetings are the Muraja'at with which we are 
dealing here. 

His Quest for Knowledge 

Noting the preface above, you may first get the impression that the social problems 
surrounding him have diverted his attention from pursuing knowledge and kept him away 
from literary work. In fact, anyone who is inflicted as our Sayyid was is normally diverted 



Sayyid 'Abd al-Husayn Sharaf al-Din al-Musawi 



Al-Muraja'at 16 
Shi'i-Sunni dialogue 

from attainable knowledge and authorship. The problems surrounding him would have 
indeed limited his chances to look into the library, or to write. But the fact is that his time is 
blessed, his heart is spacious, and his mind is powerful. 

While dealing satisfactorily with the problems which he encountered, he also quenched his 
thirst for knowledge. He obtained from his library the portion of knowledge his practical life 
demanded. Ever since leaving alNajaf alAshraf, he continuously kept researching, reading, 
writing and debating. During his leisure hours, he daily went to his library in order to find 
his peace of mind in its subjects and forget whatever busy and exhausting life lay beyond its 
precincts. 

His Works 

1) AlMuraja at is but a true specimen of his writing, and I cannot tell you enough about it 
here. His own tongue is indeed much more eloquent and outspoken than mine. It was printed 
at aPIrfan Press, Saida (Lebanon), in 1355 A.H., and all its copies were immediately sold 
out. It was translated into Persian, and I have heard that it has been translated into English 
by Dr. Zayd, an Indian, and also into Urdu. 

2) Al Fusul Al Muhimmah fi Tal'if Al Ummah ["The Important Chapters in Unifying the 
Nation"] is one of the best Islamic books which deal with controversial matters regarding 
which Sunnis and Shi" as dispute in the light of Kalam, reason, deduction and analysis. It was 
finished in 1327 A.H. and was twice printed in Saida, "Amil mountain. The text of its second 
edition (1347 A.H.) was increased. In its own subjectmatter, Al Fusul Al-Muhimmahfi Ta'lif 
Al-Ummah suffices for an entire library. It contains 192 small size pages. 

3) Ajwibat Masa'il Musa Jar Allah ["Answers to Musa JarAllah's Questions"]. Although 
small in size, this is a magnificent book of tremendous knowledge. As the title suggests, it 
contains answers to twenty questions put forth by Musa JarAllah to Shfa scholars. He thinks 
they include some embarrassing questions such as why Shi" as consider some Companions 
kafir and denounce them, and the allegation that Shfas altered the text of the Qur'an and 
made Jihad unlawful, and also matters like Bada' (change of destiny by Allah), mufa 
(temporary marriage), bara'a (dissociation from the enemies of Allah), ^awl (a law of 
inheritance adopted by the Sunnis), etc. His answers were most authentic, derived from 
abundant knowledge and based upon proofs and logic, leaving no room for doubt. It has an 
Introduction about the call for unity and a Conclusion regarding the ignorance of those who 
raise such issues and propagate such allegations about Shi' a literature, and also of the 
confusion which exists in some Sunni books. It is in 152 small pages, printed at aPIrfan 
Press, Saida, in 1355 A.H./1936 A.D. 

4) Al Kalimah Al Gharra' fi Tafdil alZahra' ["The Convincing Statement in Preferring al- 
Zahra'"]. Its 40 half size pages have combined with the text of the second edition of Al Fusul 
alMuhimmah. It contains the deepest studies. It is most authentic in style and derivation. It 
testifies to the overflow of the writer's pen, his fountainhead. 

5) Al Majalis Al Fakhirah fi Ma'atim aVItrah Al Tahirah ["The Magnificent 
Commemorative Speeches in Honour of the Purified Progeny"]. The Introduction to this 
book has already been printed. The total number of its halfsize pages is 72. The author 
explains in it the philosophy of conducting commemorative Husayni ceremonies, and the 



Sayyid 'Abd al-Husayn Sharaf al-Din al-Musawi 



Al-Muraja'at 17 
Shi'i-Sunni dialogue 



secrets of the Taff martyrdom are very nicely and precisely explained. 



6) Abu Hurairah, printed in 1365 A.H. at Al-'Irfan Press, Saida. It is a new method in 
authorship and a victory in the world of biographies because of its absorbant analytical style. 
In its depth and style, it may well be compared with the most respectable works of its 
category. It deals in the light of knowledge and reason with the life of Abu Hurairah, his 
time, circumstances, friends, traditions, and the special attention meted to him by the six 
sahih books which quote his traditions. 

7) Bughyat Al-Raghibin ["Quest of the Willing"] is a unique family manuscript tracing the 
Sharafuddin family tree and close relatives. It stands as a grand, magnificent and excellent 
work among the literature of diaries in its own accomplished method of classification. He 
narrates in it the biographies of some renown masterauthors, as well as their times and 
circumstances. You will, therefore, find it an excellent and interesting literary book, nay, an 
entire history of generations and dignitaries. 

8) Thabt Al Athbat fi Silsilat Al Ruwat ["The Ultimate Proof in the Chain of Narrators"]. In 
this book, the author lists his mentors among renown Muslim sects in a sequence which goes 
back to the Prophet (pbuh) and Imams (as), to works and their authors traced through 
various numerous avenues. He narrates some of them by way of reading or hearing, or 
depending on the authority of renown men belonging to the Shfa IthnaAsheri or Zaydi 
creeds, as well as from renown Sunnis. To elaborate on all his methods here will require 
lengthy details; therefore, I content myself with referring to the contents of alThabt which 
was twice printed in Saida. 

He has authored other books not mentioned above such as Masa'il Khilafiyya ["Caliphate- 
Related Issues"] and Risaleh Kalamiyya [Dissertation in Theological Philosophy (i.e. 
derived from 'ilm alKalam). 

His Precious Lost Works 

Besides all these immortal jewels, he has written other precious works. Had they not been 
burnt or shredded during the 1920 raid, they could have been included among the few 
distinguished treasures of reason and thought. But alas; these were lost during such painful 
events; therefore, the institute of knowledge has suffered a severe loss. I wish our master's 
time will extend in order to compensate by bringing them back to life anew. Here we list 
them as the author does at the end of his commentary on AlKalemah AlGharra' (The 
Precious Word): 

1) Shark Al-Tabsirah ["Explicating the Tabsirah Book], i.e. Proofs in Fiqh Concerning 
Enlightening Deductions: They are three bound volumes containing chapters on cleanliness, 
justice, witness and inheritance. 

2) His commentary, in one volume, on the topic of Istishab from Shaykh alAnsari's letters 
deals with the principles of jurisprudence {Usui alFiqh). 

3) Risaleh fi Munjazat Al-Marid ["Dissertation on A Sick Person's Road to Recovery)"] 
written in a rationalizing approach. 



Sayyid 'Abd al-Husayn Sharaf al-Din al-Musawi 



Al-Muraja'at 18 
Shi'i-Sunni dialogue 



4) Sabil Al-Muminin, in three volumes, deals with the topic of Imamate. 



5) Al-Nusus Al-Jaliyyah ["The Obvious Texts"] also deals with Imamate, and it contains 
forty texts unanimously agreed upon by Muslims in addition to forty others narrated through 
Shi' a ways polished by analysis and philosophy. 

6) Tanzil Al-Ayat Al-Bahira ["Revelation of the Dazzling Verses"] also deals with the topic 
of Imamate. It is written in one volume based upon one hundred Qur'anic verses revealed in 
praise of the holy Imams (as) according to sahih books. 

7) Tuhfatul Muhaddithin fima Akhraja "anhu Al-Sittah minal Muda""afin ["Ornament of the 
Entertainers from the hadith Regarded by the Authors of the Six (sahihs) as 'Weak'"]. This 
is a book totally new in its subjectmatter, one the like of which has never been written 
before. 

8) Tuhfatul Ashab fi Hukm AhlelKitab ["The Companions' Ornament in Judging the People 
of the Book"]. 

9) Al-TharVa ("The Pretext") is a book rebutting alNabahani's BadPa. 

10) Al-Majalis Al-Fakhira ["The Excellent Sessions"] is a four-volume book. Its first 
volume deals with the Prophet's biography, the second with the biographies of Amirul- 
Muminin, alZahra and alHasan (as), the third with the biographies of Imam Husayn (as), and 
the fourth with the biographies of the nine Imams, Allah's peace be upon all of them. 

11) Mu'allifu Al-ShPafi Sadr Al-Islam ["Shi'a authors at the Dawn of Islam"]. Some of this 
book's chapters were published in Al- v Irfan mgazine of Saida (see Al-"Irfan, Vols. 1 & 2). 

12) Bughyatul Fa'izfi Naql Al-Jana'iz ["The Winner's Quest in Coffin Bearing"]. Most of 
this book's text was published in Al- v Irfan. 

13) Bughyatul Sa'il "an Lathm Al-Aydi wal Anamil ["Quest of the Inquirer about Hand and 
Finger Kissing"]. This is a scholarly thesis in literary and intelligent humour containing 
eighty traditions from our way and the way of others. 

14) Zakat al-Akhlaq ["Behavioural Purification"]. Al-'Irfan published some of its chapters. 

15) Al-Fawa'id wal Fara'id ["The Benefits and the Rareties"] is a useful inclusive book. 

16) His commentary on Bukhari's Sahih. 

17) His commentary on Muslim's Sahih. 

18) Al-Asalib Al-BadPahfi Rujhan Ma'atim Al-ShPa: ["The Witty Methods in the Properiety 
of Shi' as' Commemorations"] is a book based on logical and traditional proofs, and it is, in 
its subjectmatter, a new production. 

He has written an Introductions, besides these, dealing with different topics some of which 



Sayyid 'Abd al-Husayn Sharaf al-Din al-Musawi 



Al-Muraja'at 19 
Shi'i-Sunni dialogue 



were lost while others were resurrected and are yet to be finished. 



His books are characterized by keen observation, vast investigation, inclusive research, 
authentic conclusion, good finish, honest quotations and interrelation of chapters in qualities 
which wear the critic out and challenge the mischievous. 

His Manners and Gifts 

He is very patient, dignified, openminded, gentle, brave, and highlyrespected. He inspires an 
awe which forces you to respect and love him even if you do not know him. 

He does not compromise justice, nor does he admit relaxation or leniency when an effort is 
exerted to counter injustice or wrongdoing, yet he remains humble, generous, maintaining a 
pleasant countenance. 

Evenhandedness has such a position within him that he is fair to both strangers and kin; 
doing right is his motive and motto. 

He is a model of piety, selfease, clarity of conscience, and the speaking of what is right. 
Besides, he is wise in his views, far-sighted. He sifts people's temper and reaches the reality 
and depth of affairs. He cannot be deceived by appearances, nor can he be cheated 
outrightly. He does not deviate from accuracy nor be tempted into hypocrisy. 

These good manners may have contributed to his accomplishments, influence, and true 
qualifications. He is, then, counted among the most eloquent Arabs when he talks, the most 
outspoken when he lectures, the most hearttouching when he preaches, the most efficient in 
implementing the law, the most fair in judgment and clarity of argument, and he is the most 
deep in philosophy of life. 

His Travels 

In 1329/1330, he undertook a scholarly visit of Egypt, as we mentioned above. During that 
visit he met with the most distinguished intellectuals in Egypt headed by Shaykh Salim al- 
Bishri alMaliki, the then rector of Al-Azhar Mosque. The outcome of meeting him and 
corresponding with him is this book which suffices to be the sweet fruit of that visit. 

By 1338, he made his religiopolitical migration about which you have learned a short while 
ago. In it he visited Damascus, Egypt, and Palestine. In all these countries, he reaped the 
fruits of knowledge and delivered invaluable lectures. 

He was the first learned Shfa to lead the thronged stampeding masses which assembled at 
the Haram mosque (the Sacred Mosque) in the holy precincts of Mecca for prayers. It was 
the first time that people in thousands openly prayed behind a Shi' a Imam without resorting 
to taqiyya. 

This is why the news of his performing the pilgrimage earned such a great fame that people 
kept talking about it in all Muslim lands. King Husayn son of v Ali offered him the best 
welcome, and they met more than once and together washed the Ka'ba. 



Sayyid 'Abd al-Husayn Sharaf al-Din al-Musawi 



Al-Muraja'at 20 
Shi'i-Sunni dialogue 

By the close of 1355 A.H., he visited the Imams' shrines in Iraq and had a reunion with his 
family and kinfolk. On the day of his arrival, the Iraqi cabinet ministers, dignitaries, and 
chiefs, headed by his holiness Sayyid Muhammad Baqir alSadr, welcomed him and escorted 
him the entire distance from Baghdad to Falluja's bridge in motorcades. At Kerbala and 
Najaf, he was met with a magnificent welcome from learned men as well as the general 
public. The similitude of that fantastic welcome is indeed rare. 

I imagine him saying, when he reached the playgrounds of his childhood and youth: 

Tears overcame me when the Tawbad did I see; 

And it glorified the Merciful upon seeing me... 

It was only natural that he would burst into eager tears because of his anxiety to see such 
heartcomforting institutes, and the latter would glorify Allah while welcoming him, ecstatic 
at his arrival after an absence which lasted for many long years. 

Had he not left them satisfied? Had they not acclaimed him when he was filling their halls 
with the best that fills an institute thronged with outstanding students? 

Yes, indeed. They both exchanged passion, eagerness, anxiety and greetings. Such a purely 
spiritual exchange was reciprocated by all elements of goodness and sincerity at Najaf, 
Kerbala, Kazimiyya and Samarra'. There were many merry and colourful celebrations from 
which time had kept him away and obstructed him from seeing them and their distinguished 
dignitaries. 

His meetings with the distinguished pioneers of knowledge and research were full of 
benefits in the different scholarly branches of knowledge. 

He proceeded travelling from Iraq to Iran. In the latter country, he was blessed by visiting 
the mausoleum of Imam Rida, peace be upon him. While he was en route, he passed by Qum 
and Tehran and other Iranian cities. In all of those cities, he was met with all sorts of 
welcome his beloved personality deserved. 

His Legacies and Construction Projects 

1) He inaugurated his construction projects with a waqf Husayniyya which he built so that 
people might meet there on different occasions and circumstances to uphold the tenets and 
receive religious education and spiritual guidance, and also to offer their prayers. Shi" as, 
when he visited Sur, did not have a mosque there. 

2) He erected, in the first stages, six stores at the city's entrance. He had a spacious house 
built on their rooftops wherein he planned that it would hopefully be converted into the 
desired school. Unfortunately, the completion of the project was not possible then because 
of the ruling authority's opposition as well as that of seekers of selfinterest who followed its 
line; therefore, he had to content himself with that portion, waiting for the opportune 
chance. 

3) Over the other side of the building he had a unique club erected which he named Imam 



Sayyid 'Abd al-Husayn Sharaf al-Din al-Musawi 



Al-Muraja'at 21 
Shi'i-Sunni dialogue 

Jafar alSadiq Club, 22.5 meters long and 15.5 meters wide, which he reserved for 
celebrations, learning, religious, social and academic occasions. Then he established in 1361 
A.H. a school for girls. Like the one for boys, this school implemented a curriculum which 
promoted the education of useful topics that would secure a more ideal norm of life. 

The location of the school and the club is the best in beauty, landscape and spacious 
openness. The view is the beautiful water, extending endlessly, and if you are tired of the sea 
and its waves, look in another direction: towards the plains and mountains embracing the 
villges as far as your eyes can see. Your sight will wander from here to there, active, 
dazzled, dreaming of that captivating and enchanting beauty of natural scenery, extending in 
felicity, roaming unobstructed in pleasure and joy. 

If you stand by the row of all these huge adjacent buildings, you will see in them a great 
structure very well put together, strongly erected, inspiring an awe within you because of 
their engineered beauty and magnificent design. Then your awe will increasingly intensify 
when you come to know its fertile output which combines both abundance of quantity with 
goodness of quality. 

All of this, in its completion and perfection, is but a seed, considering the ambition of our 
masterauthor who purchased to the south of its location a vast tract of land and linked it to 
the institution in order to complement through it his charitable projects and achieve his 
Islamic objectives. He hoped that in the end he might lay the foundation of a university that 
would teach its students the best principles in the widest fields of knowledge. He saw that 
that way was the best to deal with any imminent danger, to protect the new generation 
descending from our own to generations which might force it to be an enemy to ours. May 
Allah take his hands and lead him to whatever brings forth the wellbeing of this life and 
religion and the welfare of Islam and Muslims; praise be to Allah, Lord of the Universe. 

Murtada AlYasin, 

Kazimiyya, Iraq 

1365 A.H./1946A.D. 



Sayyid 'Abd al-Husayn Sharaf al-Din al-Musawi 



Al-Muraja'at 22 
Shi'i-Sunni dialogue 



Introduction and Foreword 



These pages have not been written today, and these thoughts have not been born recently: 
they have been organized for over quarter of a century; they could have appeared in print 
sooner barring hostile circumstances and calamities that put strong obstacles in their way. 
They had, therefore, to remain waiting for a chance to gather whatever limbs they 
squandered and parts they lost, for the events that delayed their publication did, at the same 
time, alter their organization. 

As for the book's idea, this has long preceded its debates. It shone within my chest ever 
since my young days just like lightning shining among the clouds, and were boiling in my 
blood enthusiastically, searching for a straight avenue to stop Muslims at a deadline 
terminating their chaos and lifting the veil from their vision so that they might look at life 
more seriously and go back to the roots of their religion as they are enjoined to do. It is only 
then that they will be able to make their strides to uphold the Rope of Allah all together 
under the banner which calls unto them to educate themselves and behave as dutiful 
Brethren strengthening each other. 

But the sight of these brethren, who are linked to one another by one principle and one 
creed, has unfortunately been a violent controversy that gets heated during arguments, just 
as ignorant folks go to extremes, so much so that it seemed as if controversy in the methods 
of purusing knowledge was an etiquette in debating, or a final resort. This, indeed, is enough 
reason for worry which calls for contemplation. This, indeed, invites grief, agony and 
sorrow; so, what is the solution? What should be done? These circumstances have been 
plaguing us for hundreds of years, and these calamities have been endangering us from front 
and back, right and left. That is a pen twisted with barrenness once and harmed by greed 
another; partisanship pushes it once and once it permits itself to yield to emotion, and 
between this and that there is reason for embarrassment; so, what should we do? What is the 
solution? 

I have been fed up with all this, and grief has filled my heart; therefore, I reached Egypt by 
the close of 1329 A.H. hoping to achieve my objective. I was inspired by the hope that I 
would succeed in satisfying at least part of my desire and be in direct contact with someone 
with whom I might exchange my views. I hoped that by discussing useful advice, Allah 
might assist us in achieving our objectives in the land of Kinana (Egypt) and cure the 
persisting disease endangering Muslims with tearing them apart and plaguing their groups 
with dissension. I have been able, Praise to Allah, to achieve that goal, for Egypt is a country 
which plants knowledge and the latter grows in it nurtured by sincerity and submission to 
the deeprooted Truth through the power of evidence. This distinguishes Egypt and puts it 
even above all its other unique distinctions. 

There, my circumstances being good, my mind peaceful, my soul delighted, I was lucky 
enough to come in contact with one of its distinguished renown personalities who possessed 
a broad mind, gentle manners, throbbing heart, vast knowledge and high honour which he 
rightly enjoyed due to the quality of his religious leadership. 

How good are the spirits men of knowledge are known to have, how acceptable their 



Sayyid 'Abd al-Husayn Sharaf al-Din al-Musawi 



Al-Muraja'at 23 
Shi'i-Sunni dialogue 

sayings, and how prophetic their manners! As long as an 'alim is so well attired, he will 
always remain good and prosperous, people will be safe and blessed, and nobody will 
hesitate to voice his opinion or unveil his thought to him. 

That was the renown dignitary and Imam of Egypt, and such were our meetings for which 
we thanked the Almighty without an end or limit. 

I complained to him about my worries, and he complained to me about similar worries and 
uneasiness, and it was a right hour for both of us to contemplate upon that which would, by 
the Will of Allah, unite ourselves and our nation. We have agreed, thereupon, that: both 
groups, i.e. the SlrTa and the Sunni, are Muslims who indeed follow the right religion of 
Islam, that they all are in unanimous agreement regarding the Prophet's message, that there 
is no basic difference among them on fundamental issues which would impair their 
adherence to the glorious principles of Islam, that there is really no dispute among them 
about the basic tenets except that which naturally occurs among mujtahids regarding some 
rules because of the latter's derivations from the Book or the Sunnah, the consensus, or the 
fourth proof, and that this does not in any way justify such a huge gap or bottomless pit. 
What then caused all of this dispute of which the flashes have been sparkling ever since 
there were two nouns: "Sunni" and "SlrTa"? 

If we scrutinize the Islamic history and discern the beliefs, views and precepts which bred 
therein, we will come to know that the causing factor for this dissension is agitation for a 
particular belief, a defense of a theory, or partisanship for an opinion, and that the greatest 
dispute which has occurred to the nation is the dispute about Imamate, for there have never 
been more swords unsheathed because of an Islamic principle as they have been because of 
Imamate. The issue of Imamate, then, has been among the most direct factors causing such a 
dissension. The various generations that differed among themselves concerning Imamate 
became used to being fond of such fanaticism, and such partisanship was created without 
precautions or care. Had either of these groups looked into the explanations of the other in 
understanding eyes, not in those of a cursing antagonist, the truth would have then become 
very clear and morning light could have been noticed by all those who can see. 

We have made it incumbent upon us to deal with this issue by looking into the arguments of 
both groups in order to thoroughly comprehend them, without being motivated by our own 
personal inclinations derived from environment, habit, or custom. Instead, we must be 
stripped of all emotions and fanaticism and aim at reaching the truth from its generally 
acclaimed route, and touch upon it. This may attract the attention of Muslims, bring 
tranquility of mind with its decided facts from us to them and put, by the Will of Allah, a 
definite deadlock. 

We decided, therefore, that he would present his own question in writing so that I would 
provide him with my written answer stating the correct conditions and supported them by 
either reason or authenticated quotations from both groups. 

Thus were all of our debates conducted, through the help of Allah, the Sublime and Mighty. 
Later on, we wanted to have them published so that we could enjoy the fruits of our labour 
purely seeking the pleasure of Allah, the Exalted, the Sublime, but cruel days and 
overcoming fates discouraged us, and maybe that was, after all, for the best. 



Sayyid 'Abd al-Husayn Sharaf al-Din al-Musawi 



Al-Muraja'at 24 
Shi'i-Sunni dialogue 

I do not claim that these pages are confined to the texts composed then by us, or that any of 
the forthcoming statements is not written by my own pen. The circumstances that delayed 
their publication also altered their organization, as we said above. But the sessions 
concerning the issues we debated are included herein verbatim with some necessary 
additions called forth by counsel and guidance, or they may have been caused by the 
sequence of discussion without violating our mutual agreement. 

I have today the same wish I had yesterday: that this book will cause reform and goodness. 
If it wins the attention and acceptance of Muslims, then that is a grace from my Lord, and 
that is what I wish for my labour to accomplish: I want nothing but reform, as much as I can 
get, and my success depends upon Allah; in Him do I trust, and unto Him do I return. 

I present my book to each and every man of reason who pursues knowledge, to the keen 
researcher who is acquainted with the intricate facts concerning the quest for knowledge, 
and to the learned outspoken scholar whose speech is an authority on the sayings and 
practices of the Prophet (pbuh), to the philosopher who has mastered the science of speech, 
and to each and every educated youth who is free from all chains or shackles, who can be 
depended upon for the new life of freedom: if all of these accept it, realizing the advantage 
therein, then I am most pleased. 

I have painstakingly produced this book by providing its answers in the best way from all 
aspects, aiming thereby at inspiring the fairminded people with its thought and taste with 
evidences which do not leave out any probability, and arguments which do not permit any 
loophole. I have paid a special attention to the authentic evident texts and the sayings and 
practices of the Prophet (pbuh), a care which has made this book suffice for a library entirely 
wellequipped with the most precious books on Islamic theology, traditions, biographies, and 
the like. The latter are all related to this most significant subject. I have applied therein a 
philosophy which is very well balanced and authentic, and methods which force anyone who 
is acquainted with such books to walk behind this work while they, I mean the lovers of the 
truth, are its own followers from its beginning till the last paragraph. If my book, therefore, 
is accepted by fairminded readers, then this is exactly what I desire and for which I thank 
Allah. 

As regarding my own self, I am well satisfied with this book, pleased with my life after it. It 
is, I believe, a work which must make me forget all that which has made me fed up: life's 
heavy burdens, the impoverishing worries of time, and the enemy about whom I complain to 
none but Almighty Allah; He alone is his Judge and Muhammad (pbuh) his adversary. 
Forget about the looting called for in its own quarters... I have also endured the calamities 
pouring like a flood from every direction, bearing woeful presentiments, combined with 
uneasiness and grief. But my life, which will be immortalized through this book, is one of 
mercy in this life and the life to come; within it my soul has been pleased and my conscience 
eased. Therefore, I implore to Allah to take my labour with acceptance and overlook my 
mistakes and faults; my reward for this book will inshaAllah be the benefit and guidance of 
believers. 

Those who believe and do good deeds: their Lord guides them through their faith; rivers 
flow from beneath them in the Gardens of Immortality; their prayer therein is: "Lord! Glory 
to Thee!" and their greeting has peace therein, and they conclude their prayers with: "All 



Sayyid 'Abd al-Husayn Sharaf al-Din al-Musawi 



Al-Muraja'at 25 
Shi'i-Sunni dialogue 



praise is due to Allah, Lord of the worlds." (Qur'an, 10:9-10) 



Letter 1 

I Greeting the Debater, 
II Asking Permission to Debate. 



Thul Qi da 6, 1329 A.H. 

1) Peace and Allah's mercy and blessings be upon the learned honourable Shaykh 'Abdul- 
Husayn Sharafuddin AlMusawi. 

I have not been acquainted yet with Shi'as' conscience, nor have I tested their manners, for I 
have never kept company with any of them, nor come to know the traditions of their folks. 
But I have always been eager to debate with their renown scholars, anxious to mix with their 
commoners, in order to sift their trends and attempt to know their inclinations, until Allah 
helped me stand by the spacious shore of your ocean of knowledge, and you let me taste of 
your brimful cup; Allah helped me quench my thirst. I swear by the city of Allah's 
knowledge, your Chosen Grandfather, and by its gate, your pleased ancestor, that I have 
never tasted anything so satisfying to the thirsty, and so curing to the sick, like your 
overflowing stream. I used to hear that you, Shfa folks, prefer to avoid your brethren, the 
Sunnis, and keep away from them, and that you find your ease in loneliness, resorting to 
isolation, and so on and so forth. But I have found your person to be gently charming, keen 
in debating, courteous, strong in argument, well humoured, honest in duel, appreciated in 
misunderstanding, cherished in competition; therefore, I have found the Shi' a a pleasant 
fragrance to sit with, and the quest of every man of letters. 

2) While standing by the shore of your tumultuous sea, I ask your permission to swim in it 
and dive deeply in pursuit of its jewels. If you grant me your permission, we will dig deeply 
for the root causes of particulars and obscurities which have long been agitating me; if not, it 
is entirely up to you. In raising my questions, I do not look for a fault or a defect, nor do I 
oppose, nor refute; instead, I have only one quest: searching for the truth. When truth is 
manifest, it then deserves to be followed; if not, I am only like one (poet) who said: 

We in what we have, and you in what you offer, 

Are all satisfied, even when our views differ. 

I will, if you permit me, confine my debate with you to two topics: one deals with the sect's 
Imamate, in its roots and branches, £1J and the other deals with the general Imamate, i.e. 
succession to the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his progeny. My signature at 
the close of all my debates shall be "S," and let yours be "Sh." In advance, I solicit your 
forgiveness for every fault, and peace be with you. 



Sayyid 'Abd al-Husayn Sharaf al-Din al-Musawi 



Al-Muraja'at 26 
Shi'i-Sunni dialogue 



Sincerely, 
5 



m Having sought permission to debate, he starts explaining the debate's subject-matter, thus 
demonstrating his moral accomplishments and excellence as far as the norm of debate is 
concerned. The use of the initials "S" and "Sh" is an obviously suitable vehicle for carrying 
such a debate on, since "S" denotes his name "Salim" and his being a Sunni, while "Sh" 
signifies the author's surname "Sharafud-Din," and his being a Shfa. 



Letter 2 

I Greetings Reciprocated, 
II Permission to Debate Granted. 



Thul Qi da 6, 1329 A.H. 

1) Peace of Allah be with Maulana Shaykh allslam, His mercy and blessings. 

Your very kind letter has granted me and bestowed upon me so many graces for which the 
tongue can hardly thank you enough, nor can it fulfill a portion of its duty even in a lifetime. 

You have placed your hopes on me and brought me your request while you yourself are the 
hope of anyone with a quest, the refuge of whoever seeks refuge. I myself have come to you 
all the way from Syria in order to relish your knowledge and seek your favours, and I am 
sure I will leave you strong in optimism except if Allah wills otherwise. 

2) You have asked permission to speak up. You have the right to bid and forbid. Say 
whatever you will: you have the favour; your judgment is final, your verdict fair, and peace 
be with you. 

Sincerely, 

Sh 



Letter 3 
I Why do ShPas not Uphold the Majority's Sects? 
II The Need for Unity, 
Unity Achieved Only by Adhering to the Majority's Sects. 



Thul QPda 7, 1329 A.H. 



Sayyid 'Abd al-Husayn Sharaf al-Din al-Musawi 



Al-Muraja'at 27 
Shi'i-Sunni dialogue 

1)1 ask you now about the reasons why you (Shias) do not follow the sect of the majority of 
Muslims, I mean the sect of alAslf ari, in determining the principles of the creed, and the 
four sects in its branches. Muslims agreed to abide by them in each time and clime, 
unanimously acclaiming their founder's fairness and ijtihad, their trustworthiness, piety, 
renunciation of worldly riches, straightforwardness, good morals and lofty status in 
knowledge and deeds. 

2) How great our need today for unity and uniformity is! This can be achieved through your 
own adherence to these sects according to the general consensus of Muslims, especially 
when the religion's enemies have made up their minds to harm us by all possible means. 
They have set their minds and hearts upon such goals while Muslims are heedless, as if they 
are overcome by slumber, assisting their enemies against their own selves by letting them 
split their own ranks and tear their unity apart through partisanship and fanaticism, leaving 
them disunited, divided, leading each other astray, excommunicating one another; hence, 
wolves preyed on us while dogs coveted our flesh. 

3) Do you see other than what we state here, may Allah lead your steps to unite our ranks? 
Tell me, for you will be heard when you speak and obeyed when you command, and peace 
be with you. 

Sincerely, 

5 



Letter 4 

I Juristic Proofs Mandate Adherence to the Sect of Ahl alBayt, 

II There is No Proof for Mandating Adherence to the Majority's Sects, 

II Generations of The First Three Centuries Never Knew Those Sects, 

IV Possibility of Ijtihad, 
V Unity can be Achieved by Respecting Ahl alBayt's Sect. 



Thul Qida 4, 1329 A.H. 

1) Our adherence, in the principles of the creed, to a sect other than that of alAsrTari, and our 
following in the branches of Islam of a sect other than those four sects, has never been due 
to partisanship nor fanaticism, nor has it been because of doubting the ijtihad of the Imams 
of these sects, of their fairmindedness, trustworthiness, integrity, or loftiness in knowledge 
and deeds. 

Juristic proofs, rather, have mandated upon us to follow the sect of the Imams from the 
Household of Prophethood, the cradle of the Message, and the place the angels frequent, the 
abode of revelation and inspiration. We have always, therefore, referred to them in order to 
comprehend all matters related to the creed's branches and doctrines, in the roots and in the 
bases of fiqh, in the knowledge of ethics, behaviour, and manners. We have done all this in 
accordance with the judgment of evidence and proof, following the Sunnah of the Master of 
Prophets and Messengers, peace of Allah be upon him and all his progeny. 



Sayyid 'Abd al-Husayn Sharaf al-Din al-Musawi 



Al-Muraja'at 28 
Shi'i-Sunni dialogue 

Had the proofs allowed us to differ from the Imams of Muhammad's progeny, or had we 
been able to achieve nearness to Allah, Glory to Him, by following others' sects, we would 
then have followed in the general public's footsteps, asserting the friendship and 
strengthening the ties of fraternity. On the contrary, positive proofs stand in the believer's 
way, diverting him from following his own inclinations. 

2) Still, the majority cannot prove that their own sect must be preferred over those of others, 
let alone making it obligatory. We have looked into Muslims' pretexts as one inquiring in 
depth with keen eyes, but we have found no proof for your argument except what you 
mentioned of their ijtihad, trustworthiness, fairmindedness and loftiness. 

You, however, know that ijtihad, trustworthiness, fairmindedness and loftiness of status are 
not a monopoly of them only; therefore, how, since the case is as such, can their sects be 
obligatory by your merely pointing them out? 

I do not think that there is anyone who dares to advocate their preference in knowledge or 
deeds over our Imams who are the purified Itra, the nation's life-boats, the Gate of 
Salvation, the security against dissension in religion, the flags of its guidance, the 
descendants of the Messenger of Allah and his remnant in his nation. He, Allah's peace be 
upon him and his progeny, has said: "Do not go ahead of them lest you should perish, nor 
should you lag behind them lest you should perish. Do not teach them, for they are more 
learned than you." But it is the dictates of politics at the dawn of Islam. 

I wonder about your claim that the good previous generations adhered to those sects, finding 
them the most fair and the best of sects, and that they agreed to adhere to them in every time 
and clime. You say so as if you do not know that our predecessors, the good past generations 
that followed the progeny of Muhammad and that, literally, constituted half the Muslim 
population, followed only the faith of the Imams among the descendants of Muhammad, 
peace of Allah be upon him and his progeny. They did not find for it any substitute, and they 
have been this way ever since the days of v Ali and Fatima, when neither alAsrTari nor any 
Imam of the other four sects, or even their fathers, existed, as you very well know. 

3) The generations of the first three centuries, then, never followed any of those sects at all. 
Where were those sects during those three generations, the best generations ever? AlAsrTari 
was born in 270 A.H. and died in 320 A.H. Ibn Hanbal was born in 164 A.H. and died in 
241 A.H. AlShaffi was born in 150 A.H. and died in 204 A.H. Malik was born in 95 
A.H.OJ and died in 179 A.H. Abu Hanifah was born in 80 A.H. and died in 150 A.H. Shfas 
follow the sect of the Imams from the Prophet's Household, and the household surely know 
what their house contains. NonShfas follow the sects of the learned sahabah and tabPin; so, 
what makes it "mandatory" on all Muslims, after those three centuries had gone by, to follow 
those sects instead of the one followed before them? What made them divert their attention 
from those who were peers only to the Book of Allah and its own companions, the 
descendants of the Messenger of Allah and his trustees, the nation's ark of salvation, the 
leaders, the security, and the Gate of Salvation? 

4) What caused the door of ijtihad to be shut in the face of Muslims after it had been kept 
widely open during the first three centuries other than resorting to reluctance, comfort, 
laziness, the acceptance of deprivation and the satisfaction with ignorance? Who would 
permit himself, knowingly or unknowingly, to say that Allah, Dignity and Glory to Him, has 
not sent the best of His Messengers and Prophets with the best of His religions and codes, 



Sayyid 'Abd al-Husayn Sharaf al-Din al-Musawi 



Al-Muraja'at 29 
Shi'i-Sunni dialogue 

nor has He revealed unto him His best Books and Tablets, judgment and doctrines, nor has 
He completed His Religion for him and perfected His blessing unto him, nor has He taught 
him the knowledge of the past and the present, except for the sole purpose that the whole 
matter would end to the Imams of those sects to monopolize for their own selves? They 
would then forbid all others from acquiring it from any other source, as if the Islamic faith, 
in its Book and Sunnah, and in all other signs and testaments, a property of their own, and 
that they forbade faring with it in any way contrary to their own opinions... Were they the 
Prophets' heirs, or had Allah sealed through them the successors and Imams, or taught them 
the knowledge of the past and the present, and that He bestowed upon them what He had 
never bestowed upon anybody else among all human beings? 

No! They were just like many others, pillars and caretakers of knowledge, ministers and 
callers. Those who call for knowledge are far above closing its doors against others or 
forbidding others from reaching it. They never curb the minds, nor confine public attention 
only to their own selves, nor can they seal people's hearts or make others deaf, blind, dumb, 
handcuffed, or chained. This can never be attributed to them except as a liar's allegation, and 
their own statements bear witness to ours. 

5) Let us now concentrate on the matter to which you attracted our attention: the unity of 
Muslims. What I see is that this matter does not depend on Shi' as forsaking their faith, nor 
the Sunnis forsaking their own. Asking Shi' as to do so without asking others (Sunnis) to do 
likewise is to prefer without preponderance, or even to favour the less preferable. It is 
demanding what is beyond one's capacity as it is known from our Introduction. 

Yes. Unity and uniformity can be achieved if you release Ahl alBayt's sect and view it as 
you view any of your own sects so that the Shafi'is, Hanafis, Malikis and Hanbalis may 
consider the followers of Ahl alBayt just as they consider each other. Only then can the 
unity of Muslims be achieved, and they will be unified in one fold. 

The difference among Sunni sects is not less than it is between the Sunni and Shi' a schools 
of thought as thousands of books on the principles and branches of the creed of both groups 
testify; therefore, why have several people among you condemned the Shi' as for differing 
from the Sunnis? Why have they not, by the same token, condemned the Sunnis for differing 
from the Shi' as, or even for differing from one another? If sects can be four, why cannot 
they be five? How come it is alright to have four sects but not five? How can four sects be 
considered as "unifying" Muslims, and when they increase to five unity is shattered and 
Muslims are divided unto themselves? I wish when you invited us to "sectarian unity" you 
also invited the followers of the four sects to the same. The latter will be a lot easier for you 
and for them. But why have you singled us out for your invitation anyway? Do you find the 
followers of Ahl alBayt breaking the unity while the followers of others unite the hearts and 
determination eventhough their sects and minds are different, their tastes and inclinations are 
numerous? I think of you to be above that, knowing your love for your kinfolk, and peace be 
with you. 

Sincerely, 

Sh 



Sayyid 'Abd al-Husayn Sharaf al-Din al-Musawi 



Al-Muraja'at 30 
Shi'i-Sunni dialogue 

ril In his biography of Malik, Ibn Khallikan indicates in his Al-ayan that the man lingered 
in his mother's womb for almost three years. The same is mentioned by Ibn Qutaybah who 
includes Malik among wise sages on page 170 of his book Al-Maarif, recounting him on 
page 198 among men whose mother's pregnancy outlasted the normal period. 



Letter 5 

I Admitting Our Argument, 

II Asking for Detailed Proofs. 



Thul-Qi da 9, 1329 A.H. 

1) Your letter has been quite clear, very well arranged, praiseworthy. It is eloquent, powerful 
in determination, and strong in argument. It spares no attempt to prove that it is not 
compulsory to follow the majority's sects in the principles and branches of religion, saving 
no effort to confirm that the doors of ijtihad must remain open. Your letter, therefore, is 
strong in both matters, correct in proving each one of them, and we do not deny your careful 
research in their respect, your clarification of their obscurities, although we really were not 
acquainted with them, and our view in their regard is identical to yours. 

2) We had asked you about your reason for not accepting the sects followed by the Muslim 
majority, and your answer was that because of "judicial proofs," whereas you were expected 
to explain that in detail. Could you please yield now to explaining them with positive proofs 
from the Book (Qur'an) or the Sunnah which, as you mentioned, divert the believer from 
following his own inclinations? Thank you, and peace be with you. 

Sincerely, 

5 



Letter 6 

I References to Proofs Mandating Following the Itra, 

II The Commander of the Faithful (as) Invites to Ahl alBayt's Sect, 

III Relevant Statement of Imam ZainuTAbidin. 



Thul-QPda 12, 1329 A.H. 

You, thanks to Allah, can be convinced by a mere hint, without the need for an explanation, 
and you are above doubting the very fact that the purified offspring Citra) are superior to all 
others. Their case is quite clear: they have surpassed those with qualifications and have 
distinguished themselves from seemingly equal peers. They have carried from the 



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Al-Muraja'at 31 
Shi'i-Sunni dialogue 

Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his progeny, the knowledge of the prophets, and 
from him have they digested secular and religious jurisdictions. 

1) The Prophet, hence, has made them equal only to the Glorious Book and set them models 
of conduct for those endowed with reason, and the ark of safety when hypocricy with its 
tumultous waves overwhelms the security of the nation, safeguarding it against dissension if 
the tempests of division rage, the Gate of Salvation: whoever enters it is forgiven, and the 
strong Rope of Allah which is unbreakable. 

2) The Commander of the Faithful is quoted in sermon 86 in NahjulBalagha as saying: 

'"Where are you heading (Qur'an, 81:26),' and "where are you straying (Qur'an, 6:95, 10:34, 
35:3, 40:62),' since the flags are poised up high, the Signs are clear, and the lighthouse is 
erected? So, where are you straying? Nay! How can you be blindfolded while you have 
among you the household Citra) of your Prophet? They are the reins of righteousness, the 
religion's flags, and the tongues of truth; therefore, accord them as you accord the Qur'an 
and approach them as thirsty camels approach the water. O people! Take thisJTL from the 
last of the Prophets, Allah's peace be upon him and his progeny: "whoever among us passes 
away, he is not really dead, and whoever disintegrates (after dying) from among us does not 
really disintegrate; therefore, do not say what you do not know, for there is the greatest truth 
in what you deny. Accept the argument of one against whom you have no argument and it is: 
"Have I not dealt with you according to the Greatest Weight^! (Qur'an)? Have I not left 
among you the Lesser Weight (Ahl alBayt) and laid firm among you the flags of faith?'" 

He, peace be upon him, said, in sermon 96 of NahjulBalagha, "Behold the Household of 
your Prophet; emulate their example and follow in their footsteps, for they shall never take 
you out of guidance, nor shall they ever bring you back into destruction; halt when they halt, 
and rise when they rise, and do not go ahead of them lest you should stray, nor should you 
lag behind them lest you should perish." He, peace be upon him, has mentioned them once, 
as stated in sermon 237 of Nahjul-Balaghah, saying: "They are the life of knowledge and the 
death of ignorance; their forbearance informs you of their knowledge, and their outward 
appearance informs you of their conscience. Their silence indicates the wisdom of their 
speech. They neither differ from truth, nor do they differ among themselves about it. They 
are the pillars of Islam and the gateways to salvation. Through them, justice was achieved 
and wrongdoing was removed, and its tongue was uprooted. They comprehended the creed 
with care and concern, not like hearing and reporting, for the "reporters' of knowledge are 
many indeed, but those who safeguard it are few." He, peace be upon him, as stated in 
sermon 153 in Nahjul-Balaghah, has also said, "His offspring Citra) is the best, and his 
family is the best. His tree is the best of trees: it was planted in the sacred place (Haram), 
and it grew like a vine; it has long branches and its fruit is not unattainable." 

He, peace be upon him, is quoted in sermon 153 of Nahjul-Balaghah saying: "We are the 
banner, the companions, the trustees and the gates. Houses are not supposed to be 
approached except through their gates: whoever approaches them otherwise is called a 
thief," until he said, describing the purified offspring Citra), "They are the vital portions of 
the Qur'an, and they are the teasures of the Merciful. They tell the truth when they speak, or 
when they remain silent; none can speak ahead of them. Therefore, let the forerunner speak 
the truth to his people, maintaining his reason." 

He has said in sermon 146 of Nahjul-Balaghah: "You should know that you will never know 
Sayyid 'Abd al-Husayn Sharaf al-Din al-Musawi 



Al-Muraja'at 32 
Shi'i-Sunni dialogue 

guidance unless you know who abandons it, nor will you abide by the Book (Qur'an) unless 
you know who contradicts it, and you will never uphold it unless you know who has 
discarded it; so, seek that from those who possess it, for they are the life of knowledge and 
the death of ignorance. They are the ones whose judgment informs you of their knowledge, 
their silence of their power of speech, their outer appearance of their inner selves; they 
neither violate the religion, nor do they differ among themselves about it, while it is among 
them a truthful witness and a silent speaker." 

There are many similarly impressive statements of his, peace be upon him, in this regard; 
consider this one which is excerpted from sermon 4 in Nahjul-Balaghah: "Through us you 
received guidance in the darkness, ascending the zenith of nobility, and through us you 
reached the light and dissipated the gloomy night. May the ears that do not listen to the 
summoner be deafened. "[31 He is quoted in sermon 104 of Nahjul-Balaghah saying: "O 
people! Secure your light from the flame of the lamps of a preacher who follows what he 
preaches, and drink from a spring cleansed from impurity." 

He has also said the following in sermon 108: "We are the tree of Prophethood, the place of 
the Message, the ones to whom the angels make a pilgrimage, the treasures of knowledge, 
the springs of wisdom. Our supporter and lover awaits the mercy, while our enemy or 
antagonist us awaits the wrath. "[4_L 

Among what he has said in this regard is sermon 143 of Nahjul-Balaghah wherein he says: 
"Where are those who claimed to be deeply versed in knowledge other than our own selves? 
(See also Qur'an, 3:7 and 4:162). It is a lie and a transgression against us, for Allah has 
raised us high while putting them down; He bestowed upon us while depriving them, and He 
permitted us to enter (in the fortress of knowledge) while turning them out. Through us, 
guidance is achieved and blindness is removed. Surely the Imams from Quraysh have been 
planted in Hashim's loins. Imamate can never fit anyone else, nor can government either." 
Then he stated: "But they preferred a speedy gain to a later one, forsaking a pure well to 
drink from an impure one," up to the end of his statement. He has also said at the conclusion 
of khutba (sermon) 189 of Nahjul-Balaghalih: "Whoever among you dies on his bed 
knowing the rights of his Lord and knowing the rights of His Messenger and his family (Ahl 
alBayt) dies as a martyr, and his reward will be incumbent upon Allah, and he deserves the 
reward of what good deeds he has intended to do: his own intention will make up for his use 
of his sword (in jihad)." 

Also, he, peace be upon him, has said: "We are the virtuous; our descendants are the 
descendants of Prophets; our party is the party of Allah, the Sublime, the Glorified, while the 
transgressing party is the devil's; whoever equates us with our enemy is certainly not of 
us."[51 

Imam alMujtaba Abu Muhammad alHasan, the patient, master of the youths of Paradise (as), 
has said the following in one of his sermons: "Fear Allah regarding us, for we are your 
rulers. "£6_1 

3) Whenever Imam Abu Muhammad, v Ali son of alHusayn ZainuPAbidin, master of those 
who prostrate in prayer, used to recite this verse of the Almighty: "O ye who believe! Fear 
Allah and be with the Truthful," he would make a lengthy invocation to Allah containing his 
plea to be included among "the Truthful" to attain the high ranks. He would then count the 
calamities and innovations of the group that split from the Imams of Faith and the Tree of 



Sayyid 'Abd al-Husayn Sharaf al-Din al-Musawi 



Al-Muraja'at 33 
Shi'i-Sunni dialogue 

Prophethood. Then he would say: "Some people went as far as underestimating us, making 
excuses for the Qur'anic verses which seem to them to be alike, giving their own 
interpretation thereof, and casting doubts about the transmitted narrarations in our honour," 
until he would say: "With whom shall people in this nation seek refuge, since the pillars of 
this creed have been forgotten and the nation has divided upon itself with dissension, each 
party accusing the other of kufr, while Allah says: 'Do not be like those who became divided 
and disagreed (with each other) even after receiving the Clear Evidences (Qur'an, 3:104)?' 
Who can be trusted to convey the Divine proofs and interpret the Judgment other than the 
peers of the Qur'an and the descendants of the Imams of Guidance, the lamps amidst the 
darkness, those whom Allah made as His Arguments against His servants? He has never left 
His creation alone without a Proof. Do you know them or find them except from the 
branches of the Blessed Tree, the remnant of the Elite from whom Allah has removed all 
impurity, purifying them with a perfect purification, clearing them from sinning and 
decreeing their love in His Book?" 

That was his own speech, peace be upon him, verbatim.[T[ Look into it and into our 
quotations from the speech of the Commander of the Faithful; you will find them both 
representing the Shi' a School of Muslim Thought in this regard very clearly. Consider this 
much of their speech as a specimen for all such speeches of the Imams from Ahl alBayt. 
They all are unanimous in this respect, and our sahih books quoting them are mutawatir 
(consecutively reported), and peace be with you. 

Sincerely, 

5/7 



[11 He means to say: "Learn this from the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his 
progeny: 'When a member of the Prophet's Household dies, he in reality does not die," that 
is, his soul remains shining in the real world. This is also stated by Shaykh Muhammad 
'Abdoh and others. 

[21 The Commander of the Faithful (as) acted upon the Greater Weighty Thing, namely the 
Holy Qur'an, leaving the Lesser Weighty Things, i.e. both his sons, behind. It is also said 
that his progeny are the models of conduct for others, as stated by Shaykh Muhammad 
'Abdoh and other commentators of Hahjul Balaghah. 

[31 In his commentary, Shaykh Muhammad 'Abdoh says: "The 'sarar,' pronounced like 
'sahab' and 'kitab,' is the last night of the lunar month during which the moon disappears. 
The meaning would be: 'You entered into the dawn,' meaning 'You used to live in utter 
darkness, the darkness of polytheism and misguidance, till you emerged into the light 
through our guidance and instruction,' a reference to Muhammad, peace be upon him and his 
progeny, and his cousin Imam (as), the one who supported his mission. 

[41 See the conclusion of sermon 105, page 214, Vol. 1, of Nahjul Balaghah. Ibn 'Abbas has 
said: "We are members of the Prophet's Household whose homes are the visiting places of 
the angels, the Ahl al-Bayt of the Messenger of Allah, and members of the household of 
mercy and knowledge." He is quoted saying so by a group of most reliable Sunni 
traditionists and as stated at the conclusion of his chapter on the characteristics of Ahl al- 



Sayyid 'Abd al-Husayn Sharaf al-Din al-Musawi 



Al-Muraja'at 34 
Shi'i-Sunni dialogue 



Bayt (as), on page 142 of Ibn Hajar's Al-Sawalq al-Muhriqa. 



[51 This statement is quoted by many authors, including Ibn Hajar at the conclusion of his 
chapter on the characteristics of Ahl al-Bayt (as) near the conclusion of page 142 of Al- 
Sawa^iq al-Muhriqa where he makes quite a few lies about them, being grossly unfair to 
them. 

[61 Refer to it at the conclusion of his chapter on the will of the Prophet (pbuh) in their 
regard on page 137 of Ibn Hajar's Al-Sawa^iq al-Muhriqa. 

[71 Refer to it on page 90 of Al-SawaHq al-Muhriqa where Ibn Hajar explains the meaning 
of the fifth verse: "And uphold Allah's rope all of you together" as one of many others which 
he explains in Section 1, Chapter 11. 



Letter 7 

I Requesting Proofs from Statements by Allah and His Messenger, 

II Proofs from Ahl alBayt are Circumventive. 



Thul-Qi da 13, 1329 A.H. 

1) Bring the proofs from the statements of Allah and His Messenger bearing witness to the 
mandatory allegiance to the Imams among the Ahl alBayt exclusively, and leave aside the 
speech of anyone else in this respect except those of Allah and His Messenger. 

2) Your Imams' statements cannot serve as arguments against their rivals, and such an 
argument creates a logical cycle, as you know, and peace be with you. 

Sincerely, 

5 



Letter 8 

I Overlooking Our Previous Statements, 

II Error in Necessity of (Logical) Cycle, 

III Hadith of the Two Weighty Things, 

IV Its Tawatur, 

V NonAdherents to the Itra Shall Stray, 

VI Their Similitude to the ark of Noah, the Gate of Salvation, and the 

Security Against Religious Dissensions, 

VII What is Meant by "Ahl alBayt" in this Regard, 

VIII Reasons for Similitude to Noah's Ark and the Gate of Salvation. 



Sayyid 'Abd al-Husayn Sharaf al-Din al-Musawi 



Al-Muraja'at 35 
Shi'i-Sunni dialogue 



Thul-QPda 1329 

1) We have not neglected deriving our proofs from the traditions of the Prophet, peace and 
blessings of Allah be upon him and his progeny. As a matter of fact, we referred to them at 
the beginning of our letter which clearly stated that following the Imams from Ahl alBayt 
exclusively is mandatory. We did so when we stated that he, peace be upon him and his 
progeny, had compared them with the Glorious Book, setting them as a model for those 
endowed with reason, equating them with the ark of salvation, the nation's security, the gate 
of salvation - all in reference to and quotations from the wellknown clear texts in the sahih 
books. We have also said that you would be satisfied with the hint instead of the details, 
without the need for further explanations. 

2) The statements of our Imams, then, as we have explained, do fit to be used as an 
argument against their opponents, and using it as such a manner cannot be regarded as a 
(vicious) cycle, as you yourself know. 

3) Take, for example, the statements of the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon 
him and his progeny, to which we referred whereby he struck an awe in the heart of the 
ignorant, calling upon the indifferent, as quoted by alTirmithi and alNisa'i from Jabir and 
they, in turn, are quoted by alMuttaqi alHindi at the beginning of his chapter on those who 
uphold the Book and the Sunnah in his work KanzurUmmal, Vol. 1, page 44, saying: 

"O people! I am leaving with you the Book of Allah and my household Citra), my family 
(my Ahl alBayt). As long as you uphold them, you shall never go astray." 

He has also said: 

"I have left with you that which, as long as you uphold, you shall never let you stray after 
me: Allah's Book, a Rope extending from heavens to earth, and my ^itra, my Ahl alBayt. 
These twain shall never separate from one another till they reach me by the Pool; therefore, 
see how you succeed me in faring with them.'TH 

He, peace be upon him and his progeny, has also said: 

"I am leaving among you two successors: the Book of Allah, a rope extending from heavens 
to earth - or between heavens and earth - , and my household Citra) from my family (Ahl al- 
Bayt); they shall never separate from each other until they reach me by the Pool."[2_L 

He, peace be upon him and his progeny, also said: 

"I am leaving among you the Two Weighty Things: the Book of Allah and my Ahl alBayt; 
they shall never separate from each other till they reach me at the Pool."£3_L 

He, peace be upon him, has said: 

"Methinks I am going to be called upon and shall answer the call, and I am leaving among 
you the Two Weighty Things, the Book of Allah Almighty and my offspring, my Ahl al- 
Bayt. The Sublime and omniScient has informed me that they shall never part from each 



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Al-Muraja'at 36 
Shi'i-Sunni dialogue 

other till they reach me by the Pool; so, see how you succeed me in faring with them. "[41 

Having returned from the Farewell Pilgrimage, he, peace be upon him and his progeny, 
camped at Ghadir Khumm and ordered the area underneath a few huge trees to be swept 
clean then said in his sermon: 

"It seems as if I am going to be called upon and shall answer the call, and I am leaving with 
you the Two Weighty Things, one of which is greater than the other: the Book of Allah 
Almighty, and my Household; so, see how you succeed me in faring with them, for they 
shall never separate from each other until they reach me at the Pool." 

Then he (pbuh) added: 

"Allah, the Exalted and the Sublime, is my Master, and I am the master of every believer." 
Having said so, he took "Ali's hand and said: "To whomsoever I have been a master, this 
v Ali is his master. O Allah! Befriend whosoever befriends "Ali, and be the enemy of 
whosoever opposes him, etc. "[51 

'Abdullah ibn Hantab has said: "The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) delivered a sermon to us at 
Al-Juhfa wherein he asked us: 'Don't I have authority over your own selves more than you 
yourselves do?' Attendants there answered: 'Yes, indeed, O Messenger of Allah!' Then he 
said: 'I shall then question you about these two: the Qur'an and my 7fra."T61 

4) The sahih books which deem it mandatory to follow the Two Weighty Things are 
successive through more than twenty companions who all are in consensus in this regard. 
The Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his progeny, has emphasized these things 
on numerous occasions: on Ghadir Khumm's Day, on the "Arafat day of his Farewell 
Pilgrimage, after leaving Taif, from his pulpit in Medina, and inside his blessed chamber 
during his sickness, when the room was full of his companions. He said in the latter incident: 
"O people! I feel I am going to die very soon, and I had previously informed you as my duty, 
and to leave no excuse for you, that: I am leaving with you the Book of Allah, the Glorious 
and Mighty, and my K itra, my Ahl alBayt." Having finished, he took "Ali's hand and lifted it 
saying: "This "Ali is with the Qur'an, and the Qur'an is with "Ali: they shall never separate 
from one another till they reach me by the Pool. "[71 

A learned group among the majority has admitted the above. Even Ibn Hajar, quoting the 
tradition of the Two Weighty Things, says, "Be informed, then, that the tradition calling for 
upholding both of them comes through numerous ways narrated by more than twenty 
companions." Further he says, "Here a doubt arises about when he said so. Some 
traditionists say he said so at Arafat during the Farewell Pilgrimage and others that he said 
so in Medina when he was sick, while his room was crammed with his companions. Another 
group say that he made that statement at the Khumm swamp, and in yet another that he made 
it, by way of preaching, after having left T'aif as mentioned above." Ibn Hajar furthermore 
says, "There is no contradiction here, for there is no objection to his repeating it at those 
places, and at others, out of his own concern for the unassailable Book and the Purified 
Itra," up to the end of his statement. T81 

Suffices the Imams from the Purified ^itra the fact that their rank with Allah is similar to that 
of the Book which falsehood cannot approach from front or from back. This must be 
sufficient testimony that takes people by the neck and obligates them to abide by their sect. 



Sayyid 'Abd al-Husayn Sharaf al-Din al-Musawi 



Al-Muraja'at 37 
Shi'i-Sunni dialogue 

A true Muslim does not accept any substitute for the Book of Allah; therefore, how can he 
deviate from the path of those who are its own peers? 

5) The gist of his saying "I am leaving unto you that which, as long as you uphold to it, shall 
never let you stray: the Book of Allah and my Itra" is that anyone who does not uphold both 
of them spontaneously will eventually stray. This is supported by his saying, peace be upon 
him and his progeny, in the tradition of the Two Weighty Things, as Tabrani narrates it, "Do 
not go ahead of them else you should perish, and do not teach them for they are more 
learned than you." Ibn Hajar has said: "In his statement, peace be upon him and his progeny, 
'Do not go ahead of them else you should perish, and do not teach them for they are more 
learned than you,' there is proof that whoever among them is elevated to high offices and 
religious vocations must be preferred over all others," up to the end of his statement. T91 

6) What makes it compulsory to follow and refer to Ahl alBayt is this hadith of the 
Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his progeny: "The similitude of my household 
among you is that of the ark of Noah: whoever embarks upon it is saved, and whoever lags 
behind it is drowned," \ 101 and his statement (pbuh), "The similitude of my Household 
among you is that of the ark of Noah: whoever boards it is saved, and whoever lags behind it 
is drowned. And the similitude of my Household among you is the Gate of the Israelites: 
whoever enters it is forgiven. "fJJJ Also, consider his statement, peace be upon him and his 
progeny, "The stars protect the inhabitants of earth against drowning, and my Ahl alBayt 
protect my nation against dissension (in religious matters). If a tribe among the Arabs differs 
(regarding the commandments of Allah, the High, the Mighty) from them, they will all then 
differ and become the party of Satan. "£121 This is fully sufficient to oblige the nation to 
follow them and to protect it against differing from them. I do not think that there is any 
language of man more clear than this hadith to support my argument. 

7) What is meant by his word, peace be upon him and his progeny, "Ahl al-Bayt" (i.e. 
"Household") here is their entirety, collectively, as being their Imams, not merely their 
entirety inclusively, for this status is nothing but a testimony for the Proofs of Allah - 
particularly those who stand for His Commandments - as reason and scholarship would rule. 
A learned group among the majority has admitted the same, such as Ibn Hajar in his Al- 
Sawa^iq al-Muhriqa. Some of them have said that what is probably meant by 'Ahl alBayt' 
who are a security are their own learned men, for they are the ones who are like guiding 
stars; when lost, inhabitants of the earth will get what they were ominously warned against. 
Ibn Hajar said: "That will be during the time when alMehdi (as) appears, and the tradition 
indicates that Jesus will pray behind him, and the antichrist will be killed during his time; 
after that, unusual events will succeed one another," up to the end of his statement which is 
quoted in the exegesis of verse 7, in Chapter 11, page 91, of Al-Sawa^iq al-Muhriqa. 
Somewhere else he indicates that the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his 
progeny, was asked once: "How would people live after them?" and he answered: "They will 
live like an ass whose spleen has been broken." \ 131 

8) You know that likening them with the ark of Noah implies that whoever resorts to them in 
matters related to the creed, deriving the branches and basics of religion from their virtuous 
Imams, will certainly be saved from the fire of hell, and whoever lags behind them is like 
one who seeks shelter during the flood with a mountain so that it may save him from Allah's 
destiny, but he will eventually be drowned in water while the first will be hurled in the 
inferno, may Allah protect us from it. 



Sayyid 'Abd al-Husayn Sharaf al-Din al-Musawi 



Al-Muraja'at 38 
Shi'i-Sunni dialogue 

The reason why they, peace be upon them, are compared to the Gate of Salvation is that 
Allah has made that Gate a symbol of humility before His Greatness and submission to His 
Judgment; therefore, it becomes a reason for forgiveness. This is the reason for the 
similitude. Ibn Hajar, in the exegesis of Chapter 7 of the Holy Qur'an, in Chapter 11, page 
91, of his Al-Sawaiq al-Muhriqa, has accepted it while saying, after quoting these and other 
similar traditions, "The reason for their similitude to the ark is that whoever loves and highly 
respects them as means of thanking the One Who gave them honours, following the 
guidance of their learned men, will be saved from the darkness of dissension, and whoever 
lags behind it is drowned in the sea of ingratitude and will perish in the paths of tyranny." 
Then he adds the following: "As to the Gate of Salvation (meaning thereby their similitude 
thereto), Allah has made entering that gate, which probably was the gate of Shittim or of 
Jerusalem, in humility, seeking forgiveness, a reason for salvation, and He (likewise) has 
made loving Ahl alBayt a reason for this nation's salvation. " \ 141 The sahih books are 
consecutive in stating that following Ahl alBayt is mandatory especially quoting the purified 
^itra. Had I not curbed my pen for fear of boring you, I would have elaborated in detail, but 
what I have stated here must suffice for the purpose, Wassalam. 

Sincerely, 

Sh 



f 1 1 Al-Tirmithi quotes it from Zayd ibn Arqam. It is hadith 874 of the ahadith quoted in, on 
p. 44, Vol. 1, of Kanz al-^Ummal. 

[21 Imam Ahmed includes it among the ahadith narrated by Zayd ibn Thabit from two 
sources one of which is stated at the beginning of page 182, and the other at the conclusion 
of page 189, Vol. 5, and also by Ibn Abu Shaybah, Abu YaTi, and Ibn Sa'd, from Abu Sa v id. 
It is hadith 945 on p. 47, Vol. 1, of Kanz al-^Ummal. 

£31 It is included by al-Hakim on page 148, Vol. 3, of Al-Mustadrak. The author comments 
thus: "This is one hadith the narrators of which are trustworthy according to both Shaykhs, 
though the latter did not transmit it." Al-Thahbi includes it in his abridged volume of Al- 
Mustadrak, admitting its authenticity due to the endorsement of both Shaykhs. 

£4_L Included by Imam Ahmed in the hadith narrated by Abu Sa v id al-Khudri from two 
sources one of which is mentioned on page 17, and the other at the end of page 26, Vol. 3, of 
Al-Musnad. It is also quoted by Ibn Abu Shaybah, Abu Ya'li, and Ibn SaM from Abu Sa'id. 
It is hadith 945 as listed in page 47, Vol. 1, of Kanz al-^Ummal. 

[51 It is sequentially quoted by al-Hakim from Zayd ibn Arqam on page 109, Vol. 3, of Al- 
Mustadrak. The author adds: "This hadith is authentic according to both Shaykhs who did 
not narrate it in its entirety." He quotes it from another source from Zayd ibn Arqam on page 
533, Vol. 3, of his Al-Mustadrak, adding: "This hadith is narrated by reliable narrators, yet 
they (both Shaykhs) did not publish it themselves." Al-Thahbi has included it in his Talkhis, 
admitting its authenticity. 

[6_1 Al-Tabrani has included it, as referred to in Nabhani's Al-Arbaln, and in Sayyti's Ihya'ul 



Sayyid 'Abd al-Husayn Sharaf al-Din al-Musawi 



Al-Muraja'at 39 
Shi'i-Sunni dialogue 

Mayyit. You are aware of the fact that his khutba, peace be upon him and his progeny, was 
not confined to this much, for nobody who narrates just this much can claim that he had 
heard it. But politics tied many tongues of traditionists and chained the pens of many 
writers. In spite of all this, such a drop of the ocean suffices; praise be to Allah. 

[71 Refer to it at the conclusion of Section 2, Chapter 9, of Al-Sawa^iq al-Muhriqa by Ibn 
Hajar, after the forty ahadith referred to in that Section on page 57. 

[81 Refer to it in the exegesis of the fourth chapter: "And stop them, for they shall be 
questioned (Qur'an, 37:24)," which is quoted in Section One, Chapter 11, of Al-Sawalq al- 
Muhriqa, at the conclusion of page 89. 

[9J Refer to it in the chapter dealing with the Prophet's will on page 135 of Al-Sawa^iq al- 
Muhriqa, then ask him why he preferred to follow al-AsrTari in the roots of religion, and the 
four jurists in its branches, and how he came to consider as superior to them in the narration 
of hadith men like "Umran ibn Hattan and his likes among the Kharijites, favouring over 
them in exegesis Muqatil ibn Sulayman, the Murji'ite who believes that Allah has a physical 
form, and favoured to them in the sciences of ethics, etiquette, conduct, and psychology 
Ma'ruf and his likes, and how he disregarded the Prophet's own brother and wall, the one 
and only executer of his will, for general caliphate and representation of the Prophet (pbuh). 
Then ask him how he came to prefer to the descendants of the Messenger of Allah, peace be 
upon him and his progeny, the descendants of cowards. What would one who turns away 
from the purified progeny of Muhammad (pbuh) in all such lofty stations and religious 
obligations and follows in the footsteps of those who oppose them do with the sahihs of the 
Two Weighty Things and the like? And how can he claim that he is upholding the progeny 
and embarking upon their Ark and entering through their Gate of Salvation? 

[101 Al-Hakim quotes it from Abu Tharr on page 151, Vol. 3, of his Sahih Al-Mustadrak. 

fill Al-Tabrani quotes it in his Al-Awsat from Abu Sa'id. It is hadith 18 of the 25th Al- 
Arbaln [forty] ahadith of Nabhani's Al-ArbaHn Al-Arba^in (the sixteen-hundred ahadith), p. 
216. 

ri21 This is quoted by al-Hakim on page 149, Vol. 3, of Al-Mustadrak from Ibn "Abbas. Al- 
Hakim adds: "This is an authentic hadith though they (both Shaykhs, i.e. Bukhari and 
Muslim) did not include it (in their own books)." 

r 1 31 Refer to the conclusion of his chapter on the predictions of the holy Prophet (pbuh) of 
hard times following his death, near the conclusion of page 143 of Al-Sawa^iq al-Muhriqa. 
We ask Ibn Hajar: "Since this is the status enjoyed by the scholars of Ahl al-Bayt (as), why 
do you then turn away from them?" 

ri41 Consider this statement of his, then tell me why he did not follow the guidance of their 
Imams in the branches and tenets of the faith, or in the principles and bases of jurisdiction, 
or in the sciences of the Sunnah and the Book, or in anything related to ethics, conduct, and 
etiquette, and why he lagged behind and thus drowned himself in the oceans of those who 
deny Allah's favours, ruining themselves in the avenues of oppression. May Allah forgive 
him for telling lies about us and unfairly assaulting our beliefs. 



Sayyid 'Abd al-Husayn Sharaf al-Din al-Musawi 



Al-Muraja'at 40 
Shi'i-Sunni dialogue 



Sayyid 'Abd al-Husayn Sharaf al-Din al-Musawi 



Al-Muraja'at 41 
Shi'i-Sunni dialogue 



Letter 9 
Requesting More Relevant Texts 



Thul QPda 1329 

Do not curb your pen, and do not worry about boring me. I am all ears listening to you; my 
chest is wide, and in learning from you, my heart is at ease and soul in peace and tranquility. 
All the proofs and arguments which you have stated made me even more enthusiastic, thus 
removing the obstacle of boredom. Send me, therefore, more of your captivating speech and 
manifestations of wise genius. I find in your speech the quest of the wise, and it is thus more 
saturating to my heart than crystalclear cool water; so, let me have more, may Allah bless 
your father, and peace be with you. 

Sincerely, 

5 



Letter 10 
A Glimpse of Sufficient Texts 



Thul-QPda 1329 

If you have been pleased by receiving my letter, and if you have approached it with self- 
satisfaction, then I have often placed my hope on you for victory and concluded my effort 
with success. Whoever intends well, adopting a good attitude while being humble, amiable, 
dignified, crowned with knowledge, wellmannered with patience, is surely worthy of being 
truthful in what he says and writes, while equity and integrity are in his hand and on his 
tongue. 

It is you to whom I owe my thanks when you asked for more, for who else can be more 
graceful, kind and humble? In order to grant your quest and cool your eyes, I would like to 
state the following: 

Both alTabrani's Al-Mujma al-Kabir and RafiTs Musnad, quoting Ibn 'Abbas, state that 
"The Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his progeny, has said: "Let whoever is 
pleased to live like me and die like me and inhabit Eden's Paradise which my Lord 
cultivated take "Ali as his master after me, and let him obey whoever he places in charge 
over him, and let him follow the example of my Ahl alBayt after me, for they are my 
progeny: they are created of my own mould and blessed with my own comprehension and 
knowledge. Woe unto those who reject them and separate me from them! May Allah never 
permit them to enjoy my intercession."'|Tl 

AlMatir, alBarudi, Ibn Jarir, Ibn Shahin, and Ibn Mundah have all quoted Ishaq citing Ziyad 
ibn Matraf saying: "I have heard the Messenger of Allah saying: "Whoever wishes to live 

Sayyid 'Abd al-Husayn Sharaf al-Din al-Musawi 



Al-Muraja'at 42 
Shi'i-Sunni dialogue 

my life and die my death and enter the Garden which my Lord promised me, the Garden of 
eternity, then let him take 'AH and his progeny after him as his masters, for they shall never 
take you out of guidance, nor let you stray. '"[21 

Similarly, Zayd ibn Arqam is quoted in one hadith saying: "The Messenger of Allah, peace 
be upon him and his progeny, has said: "Whoever wishes to live like me and die my death 
and inhabit the perpetual Garden promised to me by my Lord, let him take "Ali as his 
master, for he shall never get you out of guidance, nor shall he let you stray. '"[31 

Also, consider this tradition narrated by "Ammar ibn Yasir: "The Messenger of Allah, peace 
be upon him and his progeny, has said: V I admonish whoever believed in me and held me 
truthful to accept the government of v Ali ibn Abu Talib, for whoever accepts him as the 
ruler accepts me as such, and whoever loves him loves me too, and whoever loves me loves 
Allah. Whoever hates him hates me, and whoever hates me hates Allah, the Sublime, the 
Almighty. "[4_1 "Ammar quotes others stating this hadith: "O Lord! Whoever believed in me 
and held me truthful, let him take v Ali as his master, for his government is also mine, and 
mine is that of the Almighty Allah. "[51 

He, peace be upon him and his progeny, once delivered a sermon wherein he said: "O 
people! Favours, honours, prestige and government are for the Messenger of Allah and his 
progeny; therefore, let no falsehood divert you. "[61 He, peace be upon him and his progeny 
said: "In every generation of my nation there are members of my Household who equal only 
my own self and who safeguard this religion from the distortion of wrongdoers and the 
interpretation of the ignorant. Be informed that your Imams are your deputies to Allah; so, 
see who you send to Him as your deputies. "[71 He, peace be upon him and his progeny, has 
also said: "Do not go ahead of them else you should perish, nor should you lag behind them 
else you should perish. Do not teach them, for they are more learned than you. "[81 He, 
peace be upon him and his progeny, has said: "Consider my Ahl alBayt among you as you 
consider the head of the body, and the eyes in the head, for the head is guided by the 
eyes. "[91 He, peace be upon him and his progeny, said: "Uphold loving us, we Ahl alBayt, 
for whoever faces Allah loving us shall enter Paradise through our intercession. I swear by 
the One in Whose Hands my soul is placed that the good deeds of a believer shall never 
avail him except through recognizing our rights. "[101 And he has also said: "The knowledge 
of the progeny of Muhammad brings salvation from the Fire, and loving Ahl alBayt is 
walking on the Straight Path. Allegiance to the progeny of Muhammad is a security against 
the torture. "[HI He, peace be upon him and his progeny, has said: "The feet of any servant 
of Allah shall never move on the Day of Judgment unless he is asked about four things: how 
he spent his life, what he wore his body out for, how he made and spent his wealth, and 
about loving us, we Ahl alBayt. "[121 

He, peace be upon him and his progeny, has said: "If a man stands in prayer between the 
Rukn and Maqam, hating Muhammad's progeny, he shall still enter Heilfire." |T31 He, peace 
be upon him and his progeny, has also said: "Whoever dies because of his love for the 
progeny of Muhammad dies a martyr. Whoever dies because of loving the progeny of 
Muhammad dies as a believer of a perfect faith. Whoever dies for loving Muhammad's 
children will be given the glad tiding of entering Paradise by the angel of death, then by 
Munkir and Nakir. Whoever dies for loving Muhammad's descendants will be taken to 
Paradise like a bride taken to her groom's house. Whoever dies loving Muhammad's 
progeny will have two doors in his grave overlooking Paradise. Allah will make the grave 
of whoever dies for loving Muhammad's children a visiting place for the angels of mercy. 



Sayyid 'Abd al-Husayn Sharaf al-Din al-Musawi 



Al-Muraja'at 43 
Shi'i-Sunni dialogue 

Whoever dies for loving Muhammad's progeny dies adhering to the Sunnah and consensus. 
Whoever dies hating Muhammad's progeny will come on the Day of Judgment with this 
inscribed between his eyes: v He should despair of Allah's mercy,'" up to the end of his 
unmatchable sermon, T 141 the sermon whereby he, peace be upon him and his progeny, 
intended to divert the inclinations and whims. 

The implication is that all these traditions are unanimously agreed upon, especially those 
narrated through the authority of the purified Itra. Their status would not have been 
confirmed had they not been the obvious Proofs of Allah and the fountainhead of His 
Jurisprudence, the obvious Proofs of Allah, the fountainhead of His Jurisprudence, the ones 
who represent the Messenger of Allah in bidding or forbidding, his own deputies in the 
most clear terms. Whoever loves them, therefore, is also a lover of Allah and His 
Messenger, and whoever hates them is an enemy of Allah and His Messenger. He, peace be 
upon him and his progeny, has said: "None loves us except a Godfearing and sincere 
believer, and none hates us except a hypocritical wretch. "£151 It is for these reasons that al- 
Farazdaq, the poet, has said these verses in their praise: 

You are ones loving whom is belief, hating an abomination; 

Nearness to you is indeed a rescue and a salvation. 

If the pious ones are counted, you will be their Imams; it is true. 

If one asks: "Who are the best of man?" the answer will be you. 

The Commander of the Faithful, peace be upon him, used to say: 

"I and the virtuous among my descendants are the best in manners when young, and the 
most learned when old. Through us does Allah obliterate lies, and through us does He turn 
the wild fox's teeth ineffective. Through us does Allah cure your barrenness, and through us 
does He emancipate you. Through us does Allah begin and conclude. "£161 

Suffices us a reason for preferring them over others the fact that Allah, the Sublime, the 
Almighty, has preferred them over all others, making sending prayers unto them part of the 
obligatory prayers, albeit if the one saying his prayer were a Siddiq or Faruq, with one light, 
or two, or with numerous lights. Nay! Everyone who worships Allah by performing His 
obligations also worships Him while doing so by sending blessings unto them, just as he 
worships Him when testifying through the two parts of the Shahadah. This, indeed, is a 
status before which the nation's heads were lowered, and in front of which the eyes of 
whoever you mentioned of the imams have submitted. Imam alShaffi, may Allah be 
pleased with him, has said: \ 171 

O Household of Allah's Messenger! Loving you is an obligation 

Which Allah has enforced in His Honored Revelation; 

Suffices you a great honour if one sends no prayer unto you all, 



Sayyid 'Abd al-Husayn Sharaf al-Din al-Musawi 



Al-Muraja'at 44 
Shi'i-Sunni dialogue 



It will be as though he did not say his prayers at all. 



Let us now be satisfied with this much of the sacred Sunnah in testimony to the fact that 
following their Sunnah is compulsory; so is emulating them. In the Book of Allah 
Almighty, the Sublime and the omnipotent, there are clear verses which make that, too, 
compulsory. It is to such verses that we would like to attract your aware conscience and 
sensitive reason. You can be satisfied with an indicative hint, and a signal suffices to attract 
your attention; all praise is due to Allah, Lord of all the world. 

Sincerely, 

5/7 



m This hadith, verbatim, is hadith 3819 of the ones included on page 217, Vol. 6 of Kanz 
al-^Ummal. He also quotes it in Muntakhab al-Kanz; so, refer to the latter's text at the 
beginning of the footnote on page 94 of Vol. 5 of Ahmed's Musnad, although the author 
states: "They were endowed with my comprehension," rather than "comprehension and 
knowledge." The copier may have committed a mistake. Al-hafiz Abu Na'im, in his Hilyat 
al-Awliya', has also quoted it, and he in turn is quoted by the Mu'tazilite scholar on page 
450, Vol. 2, of his commentary on Nahjul Balaghah, Egyptian edition. He also quoted 
something similar on page 449 from Abu v Abdullah Ahmed ibn Hanbal in both his Musnad 
and his book titled Manaqib K Ali ibn Abu Talib (as). 

[21 This hadith is number 2578 of the ones quoted in Kanz al-^Ummal, Vol. 6, page 155. It 
is also quoted by Muntakhab al-Kanz; so, refer to the latter and read the last line of the 
footnote on page 32, Vol. 5, that quotes Ahmed's Musnad. It is also quoted by Ibn Hajar al- 
v Asqalani abridged in the biography of Ziyad ibn Mutraf in Part One of his Isaba, then he 
adds: "This hadith is quoted by Yahya ibn YaTi al-Muharbi, a weak traditionist." This is 
strange coming from al- v Asqalani, for Yahya ibn YaTi, according to the consensus of 
scholars of hadith, is quite trustworthy. In his Sahih, al-Bukhari quotes his ahadith related to 
the Hudaybiya treaty. He taught hadith to Muslim Ghaylan ibn Jami\ Moreover, al-Thahbi, 
in his Mizan, takes the man's integrity for granted, and so do many authorities held reliable 
by both Shaykhs as well as by others. 

[31 This is quoted by al-Hakim at the end of page 128, Vol. 3, of his authentic book Al- 
Mustadrak. He adds the following: "The narrators of this hadith are all trustworthy, and 
they (both Shaykhs) did not quote it." It is quoted by al-Tabrani in his Al-JamP al-Kabir, 
and by Abu Na'im in his book dealing with the excellences of the sahabah. It is hadith 2577 
of the ones included in Kanz al-^Ummal on page 155, Vol. 6. The author also quotes it in 
his Muntakhab al-Kanz; so, refer to the footnote on page 32, Vol. 5, of the Musnad. 

[4J Al-Tabrani has quoted it in his Al-JamF al-Kabir, and so has Ibn "Asakir in his history 
book, and it is hadith 2571 of the ones included in Kanz al-^Ummal at the end of page 154, 
Vol. 6. 

[51 Al-Tabrani has quoted it in his Al-JamP al-Kabir as narrated by Muhammad ibn Abu 
'Ubaydah ibn Muhammad ibn "Umayr ibn Yasir who quotes his father citing his 
grandfather "Ammar. It is hadith 2576 of the ones included in Kanz al-^Ummal, page 155, 



Sayyid 'Abd al-Husayn Sharaf al-Din al-Musawi 



Al-Muraja'at 45 
Shi'i-Sunni dialogue 



Vol. 6. It is also quoted in Muntakhab al-Kanz. 



£61 It is narrated by Abul Shaykh in a lengthy hadith and transmitted by Ibn Hajar at the end 
of maqsad 4 of his Maqasid while explaining, on page 105 of his Al-Sawalq al-Muhriqa, 
the verse enjoining kindness to the Prophet's kin after having scrutinized it, and in the 
supreme maqsad of his book Ghayat Al-Maram. Do not overlook his statement: "Do not 
accompany the wrong-doers." 

J71 This is quoted by al-Malla in his Sirat, as in Ibn Hajar's explanation of the verse "And 
follow in their footsteps, for they shall be questioned" in his Al-Sawalq al-Muhriqa, page 
90, suggests. 

£81 This is quoted by al-Tabrani who discusses the hadith of the Two Weighty Things, and 
he is quoted by Ibn Hajar when the latter explains the meaning of this verse of Chapter 
Four: "And follow in their foot steps, for they shall be questioned," a verse which he 
discusses in Chapter 11 of Al-Sawalq al-Muhriqa, page 89. 

£91 This is quoted by a group of authors of books of traditions from Abu Tharr, and it is 
transmitted by Imam al-Sabban while enumerating the excellences of Ahl al-Bayt (as) in his 
work Is^af al-Raghibin, and by Shaykh Yusuf al-Nabhani on page 31 of Al-Sharaf al- 
Mu'abbad, and by many other authorities. It is a text which enforces their leadership and 
implies that guidance to righteousness can be attained only through them. 

r 101 This is quoted by al-Tabrani in his Al-Awsat as transmitted by al-Sayyuti in his Ihya'ul 
Mayyit; by al-Nabhani in his Forty Forty [ahadith]; by Ibn Hajar in his chapter discussing 
enjoining their love in Al-Sawa^iq al-Muhriqa, in addition to many other renown 
authorities; so, consider his statement: "Nobody's good deeds will avail him unless he is 
mindful of our rights," then tell me what these rights are, the ones that are considered by 
Allah as prerequisites to the acceptance of good deeds. Is it not obeying them and attaining 
Allah's Pleasure through following their RIGHT PATH? What is the commandment to 
which both Prophethood and caliphate attach such a great significance? But we have simply 
been inflicted by people who do not contemplate; so, "We are Allah's, and unto Him is our 
return." 

rill This is quoted by the judge v Iyaz in a chapter explaining the fact that to venerate the 
Prophet (pbuh) and be worthy of pleasing him is to please his progeny and descendants, as 
indicated at the beginning of page 40, Part Two, of the book titled Al-Shifa which was 
printed in Istanbul in 1328 A.H. You know that "knowing" them in this text does not mean 
just knowing their names and persons, and that they are kin of the Messenger of Allah, for 
even Abu Jahal and Abu Lahab knew all of that, but it means recognizing the fact that they 
are the authorities after the Messenger, peace be upon him and his progeny, as he himself 
has said: "Whoever dies not knowing the Imam of his time surely dies the death of 
Jahiliyya," and the meaning of loving them and their wilayat is the love and wilayat that are 
obligatory upon "those who follow righteousness," i.e. the Imams of Truth, a fact that is 
quite obvious. 

r 1 21 This is so due to the fact that Allah has granted them a special status which requires 
obedience to them. Loving them as such is rewardable. This hadith is quoted by al-Tabrani 
from Ibn v Abbas, and it is transmitted by al-Sayyuti in his Ihya'ul Mayyit, and by al- 



Sayyid 'Abd al-Husayn Sharaf al-Din al-Musawi 



Al-Muraja'at 46 
Shi'i-Sunni dialogue 



Nabhani in his Al-Arbain, besides many other renown authorities. 



[131 This is quoted by al-Tabrani and al-Hakim, and it also exists in Nabhani's Al-Arbain, 
in Sayyuti's Ihya'ul Mayyit and in others. This hadith is akin to his saying, peace be upon 
him and his progeny, as in one hadith which you have already heard, "By the One in Whose 
Hands my life is, nobody's good deeds will be of any avail without recognizing our right." If 
hating them is not hating Allah and His Messenger, the good deeds of those who hate them 
would not have been rendered vain even if they spend their life between the Rukn and the 
Maqam [of Ibrahim, as] praying and supplicating; even then, they would not have enjoyed 
such a status. Al-Hakim and Ibn Hayyan, in his sahih, as stated in Nabhani's Al-Arbain 
Arba^in and Sayyuti's Ihya'ul Mayyit, from Imam al-Hasan, the Prophet's grandson, who 
said to Mu'awiyah ibn Khadij once: "Beware of hating us, we Ahl al-Bayt (as), for the 
Messenger of Allah has said: 'Whoever hates or envies us would be pushed away from the 
Pool [Kawthar] with whips of fire.'" The Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his 
progeny, delivered a sermon once and said: "O People! Anyone who hates us, we Ahl al- 
Bayt (as), will be resurrected on the Day of Judgment as a Jew." This hadith is quoted by al- 
Tabrani in his Al-Awsat as stated in al-Sayyuti's Ihya'ul Mayyit and Nabhani's Al-Arbaln 
Arbaln and in other books. 

[141 This is quoted by Imam al-ThaTabi in his explanation of the verse enjoining the love of 
Ahl al-Bayt (as) in Al-Tafsir al-Kabir from Jarir ibn 'Abdullah al-Bijli from the Messenger 
of Allah, peace be upon him and his progeny. Al-Zamakhshari takes its authenticity for 
granted in his own exegesis of the same verse in his book Al-Kashshaf; so, refer to it. 

[151 Al-Malla has recorded it in the second maqsad of Chapter 14 of the Holy Qur'an in his 
own Chapter 11 of Al-Sawa^iq al-Muhriqa. 

[161 This is quoted by 'Abdul-Ghani ibn Sa'd in his Eizah al-Ishkal. It is hadith 6050 of the 
ones included in Kanz al- K Ummal at the end of page 396, Vol. 6. 

[171 These two couplets of al-Shafi'i are very well-known and in wide circulation. Many 
trustworthy authorities have taken this fact for granted, indicating that he is the one who has 
composed them. Among them are: Ibn Hajar, who quotes them while explaining the verse 
"Allah and His angels send prayers unto the Prophet (pbuh)," on page 88 of his Al-Sawalq 
al-Muhriqa; al-Nabhani on page 99 of his Al-Sharaf al-Mu'abbad, Imam Abu Bakr ibn 
Shihabud-Din in his Rashfatul Sadi, and by many others. 



Letter 11 

I Admiring Our Clear Texts, 

II Wondering at Compromising Them With the Majority's Beliefs, 

III Asking for Clear Signs from the Book. 

A Glimpse of Sufficient Texts 



Thul-QPda 1329 

1)1 have been honoured to receive your highlyesteemed letter which I found to be authentic 
in its mainstream, comprehensible. You have filled your bucket to the brim. The flood of 



Sayyid 'Abd al-Husayn Sharaf al-Din al-Musawi 



Al-Muraja'at 47 
Shi'i-Sunni dialogue 

your eloquence has surmounted the highest peaks. I have scrutinized your letter very 
carefully, and I have found you to be far in vision, firm, strong in argument, outspoken. 

2) Having deeply considered your argument and dug deep into your proofs, I found myself 
in a very dangerous situation: When I look into your proofs, I find them convincing. When I 
consider your explanations, I find them indicative. When I look at the Imams of the Purified 
Itra, I find Allah and His Messenger commending their status, highlighting its greatness and 
prestige. Then when I look at the majorty of Muslims, who represent most of this nation, I 
find them differing from Ahl alBayt, contrary to the obligation of those proofs. Now I find 
myself to be split in two parts: one part of me yielding to the proofs, while the other seeking 
refuge with the majority of Muslims. I have submitted the first to you to lead: it is tame in 
your hands, while the other has stubbornly rejected you. 

3) Could you please, therefore, overcome the latter's stubbornness with convincing proofs 
from the Book which could curb it and divert it from yielding to the common beliefs? Peace 
be with you. 

Sincerely, 

5 



Letter 12 
Qur'anic Proofs 



Thul-Qida 1329 

You, praise to Allah, have studied the Book thoroughly, becoming acquainted with both its 
obvious and implied meanings. Has there been anyone praised therein like the Purified Itral 
Have its perfect verses described any as "purified from all uncleanness'TH other than them? 
Has the verse of Purification been revealed in honour of anyone else?£2_L Has the perfect 
Revelation commanded love for any others ?T31 Has Gabriel brought the verse of Mubahala 
in praise of anyone else?£4_L 

Has "Hal Ata" been revealed in praise of others? No! I swear 

By the Lord Who rightly used it for them, Who is right and fair.£5_l 

Are they not "Allah's Rope" concerning whom He has said: "Hold together to Allah's Rope 
and do not be divided (Qur'an, 3:103)"[6]? And "the truthful" concerning whom He has said: 
"Be ye all with the Truthful (Qur'an, 9:119);"£71 "Allah's path" about which He has said: 
"Do not follow different paths else they should divert you from Allah's path (Qur'an, 
6: 153), "£81 the ones "entrusted with authority among you (Qur'an, 4:59), "£9_1 the "custodians 
of Revelation" about whom He says: "Ask the custodians of Revelation when you do not 
know (Qur'an, 21:7), "£101 the believers about whom He says: "Whoever differs from the 
Messenger, after guidance has been made clear to him, following paths other than those of 
the Believers, We shall leave him in the path he has chosen and place him in Hell, what an 
evil refuge (Qur'an, 4:115), ' Till and the "guides" about whom He says: "You are a warner, 



Sayyid 'Abd al-Husayn Sharaf al-Din al-Musawi 



Al-Muraja'at 48 
Shi'i-Sunni dialogue 

and for each nation there is a guide"?£J_21 Are they not among those upon whom Allah has 
showered His blessings and to whom He has referred in the Fatiha and the Glorious Qur'an 
saying "Guide us unto the Right Path, the Path of those whom You have blessed,"£131 and 
He has also said: "These are with those whom Allah has blessed from among the prophets, 
the truthful, the martyrs and the righteous (Qur'an, 4:69)"? |T41 

Has He not granted them the general authority? Has He not confined it only to them after the 
Prophet? Read: "Your Master is Allah and His Messenger and the Believers who uphold 
prayers and pay zakat even while prostrating; whoever takes for Master Allah and His 
Messenger and the Believers, then the Party of Allah are indeed the victorious (Qur'an, 
5:58)."£151 Has He not made salvation for those who repent and do good deeds dependent 
upon accepting their guided authority, saying: "I am most Forgiving for those who repent, 
believe, do good deeds, and received guidance (Qur'an, 20:82)"£16]? Isn't their wilayat part 
of the "trust" about which the Almighty says: "We offered the trust unto the heavens, the 
earth, and the mountains, but they all refused to bear it out of extreme fear, then man bore it: 
he is most unjust, most ignorant (Qur'an, 33:72)"? |T71 

Have they not been the "peace" wherein Allah has commanded everyone to enter, saying, "O 
ye who believe! Enter in peace all of you, and do not follow the steps of Satan (Qur'an, 
2:208)" [181 . Are they not the "blessing" concerning whom Allah the Sublime has said, "You 
will be questioned on that Day about the Blessing (Qur'an, 102:8)"£19]? Has not the 
Messenger of Allah (pbuh) been commanded to convey all of this? Has Allah not 
emphasized conveying it in such a language which sounded like threatening, saying, "O 
Messenger! Convey that which has been revealed unto you, and if you do not do it, then you 
have not really conveyed His Message at all, and Allah shall protect you from (mischievous) 
people (Qur'an, 5:70)"?£20_L Has not the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his 
progeny, conveyed it on the Ghadir Day, having reached its plains and delivered the 
Message, whereupon Allah revealed this congratulating verse: "Today have I completed 
your religion for you, perfected My blessing unto you, and accepted Islam as your religion 
(Qur'an, 5:4)"?[21] 

Have you noticed what your Lord did with the person who openly denied their authority 
saying, "O Allah! If this Message is truly from Thee, then let stones fall upon us f221 like 
rain from the skies, or cause a severe torment to befall upon us"? Allah hurled a Sijjil stone 
at him as He had done with the Fellows of the Elephant. He revealed these verses on that 
occasion: "A person questioned about a penalty to befall the unbelievers which cannot be 
warded off: (a penalty) from Allah, Lord of the Ways of Ascent (Qur'an, 70: 12)." 

People will cetainly be questioned about such authority when they are resurrected as 
indicated in the explanation of the verse saying: "And follow in their footsteps, for they have 
the authority (Qur'an, 37:24)."[23J. There is no room to wonder any longer, then, especially 
when we discern the fact that their authority has been sanctioned by Allah unto people 
through His prophets, providing proofs and arguments for it, as indicated by the explanation 
of His saying: "And ask the Messengers whom We sent before thee (Qur'an, 43:45). "£241 
Nay! Allah has even taken for it a promise on the Day of Alasto from the souls of His 
creatures even before creating their physical forms, as referred to in this verse: "When thy 
Lord drew forth from the children of Adam - from their loins - their descendants, making 
them promise, asking them: 'Am I not your Lord?' They said: v Yes! We testify!' This is so 
lest you should say on the Day of Judgment: v Of this we were never mindful (Qur'an, 
7:172)'."£25_1 Through their intercession has Allah granted forgiveness to Adam who learned 



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Shi'i-Sunni dialogue 

the words of repentance referred to in Chapter 2, Verse 37, of the Holy Qur'an.[26_l 

"Allah does not expose them to torture, "[271 f° r they are the security of the inhabitants of 
earth and mankind's means towards Him. They are the ones of whom people are jealous and 
about whom Allah says: "Should they feel jealous of them because Allah Has granted them 
His favours (Qur'an, 4:54)"?[281 They are the ones who are "deeply grounded in knowledge" 
about whom He says: "Those who are deeply grounded in knowledge say: "We believe 
(Qur'an, 3:7)!" T291 They are the ones who will be upon the Heights and to whom Allah 
refers when he says, "Upon the Heights are men who know all by their marks (Qur'an, 
7:48). "[301 They are the men of truth about whom He says: "Among the Believers are men 
who fulfilled their promise unto Allah; some of them have passed away, while others are 
waiting, and they have not changed in the least (Qur'an, 33:23). "[311 They are the ones who 
glorify Allah continuously. About them He has said: "He is Glorified in the early morning 
and during the night by men who are not divered, by either trade or selling, from mentioning 
Allah, the saying of prayers, or the paying of zakat: they fear the Day when hearts and sights 
are overturned (Qur'an, 24:3637). "[321 

Their houses are the ones mentioned in Allah's verses saying: "In houses which Allah 
permitted to be elevated and His Name be recited therein. "£331 Allah has made their niche, 
in Surat An-Nur (Qur'an, 24:35), T341 an example for His own Light: 

Allah is the Light of the heavens and the earth. The parable of His Light is a niche, within it 
is a Lamp: the lamp is enclosed in glass; the glass is as (bright as) a brilliant star lit from a 
blessed tree, an olive, neither of the east nor of the west, whose oil is wellnigh luminous, 
though fire scarcely touches it: Light upon Light! Allah guides whom He will to His Light: 
Allah sets forth parables for men, and Allah knows all things. 

They are the foremost in accepting the faith and implementing it, and they are the nearest to 
Allah, as He indicates in Chapter 56, verses 10 and 11 1351 They are those who testify to the 
Prophet's truthfulness (Qur'an, 4:69). [361 They are the martyrs and the virtuous. Regarding 
them and their followers has Allah said: "Among Our creation is a nation calling unto the 
right guidance through the truth, and they are most just therein" (Qur'an, 7:181) 1371 Also, 
Allah has said the following about their party and about that of their enemies: "Inhabitants of 
the Fire are not equal to those of Paradise: inhabitants of Paradise are the victorious. "[381 
About both parties He has also said: "Should We treat those who believe and do good deeds 
as We treat those who cause corruption on earth, or should We equal the virtuous to the 
corrupt (Qur'an, 38:28)?' T391 He has also said the following verse concerning both parties: 
"Do those who commit bad deeds surmise that We will treat them like We treat those who 
believe and do good deeds, in life and in death? Ill is their judgment."[401 About them and 
their supporters He has said: "Those who believe and do good deeds are the best of creation 
(Qur'an, 98:7). "[411 

About them and their adversaries Allah has said: "These are two opponents who differed 
regarding their Lord: those who disbelieve will be clothed with clothes of fire: boiling liquid 
shall be poured on their heads (Qur'an, 22: 19). "[421 Regarding them and their enemy, Allah 
has revealed these verses: "Is this who has been a believer like unto him that who has been 
an evildoer? They are not equal. As for those who believe and do good deeds, their abode 
shall be Perpetual Gardens, a reward for their good deeds. As for those who cause 
corruption, their abode is Hell-fire; every time they want to get out of it, they are turned back 
into it and is said to them: "Taste the torment of the Fire in which you disbelieved (Qur'an, 



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Shi'i-Sunni dialogue 



32:19 20VT431 



Concerning them and those who boasted of providing water for the pilgrims and looking 
after the Haram mosque, Allah has revealed this verse: "Do you count the providing of the 
pilgrims with water and the maintenance of the Haram mosque equal to (the value of) those 
who believe in Allah and the Last Day and fight in the Way of Allah? They are not equal in 
the eyes of Allah, and Allah does not lead the wrongdoers (Qur'an, 9: 19). "[441 

About their triump in many trials and the magnitude of their patience, the Almighty says: 
"Among people is one who sells his life in return for Allah's Pleasure; Allah is Clement 
towards His servants (Qur'an, 2:207). "[451 Regarding their endeavour in the way of Allah 
and their toil, Allah has said: "Allah has traded the believers' lives for Paradise: they fight in 
the Way of Allah and they kill or get killed. It is His true Promise in the Torah, the Gospel 
and the Qur'an: who fulfills his promise better than Allah? Rejoice, therefore, for your 
bargain; that is the great victory. Those who turn (to Allah) in repentance, worship Him, and 
praise Him, wander in devotion to the Cause of Allah, bow down and prostrate in prayer, 
enjoin goodness and forbid evil, and observe the limits set by Allah (they do rejoice). So, 
proclaim the glad tidings to the Believers (Qur'an, 9:111112)." "Those who (in charity) 
spend of their possessions by night and by day, in secrecy and in public, have their reward 
with their Lord: on them there shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve (Qur'an, 2:274). "[461 

They truly say only the truth. The Truthful Himself, blessed be His Name, has borne witness 
to that, saying: "Those who have brought forth the truth, believing therein, are indeed the 
Godfearing (Qur'an, 39:33). "[471 They are the faithful relatives of the Messenger of Allah 
(pbuh), his kinfolk, whom Allah Has chosen for His beautiful care and great attention, 
saying: "And warn your near in kin (Qur'an, 26:214)." They are his relatives, and "Relatives 
have the priorities according to the Book of Allah" (Qur'an, 8:75; see also 33:6). On 
Doomsday, they will ascend to his rank and join him in the perpetual gardens of felicity as 
witnessed by Allah's statement: 

Those who believe and whose families follow them in faith - to them shall We join their 
families: We shall never deprive them (of the fruit) of aught of their deeds, (yet) each is in 
pledge for his deeds. (Qur'an, 52:21)[48J 

They have the right dues as the Qur'an has stated: "And give the near in kin his dues (Qur'an, 
17:26)," and they have the fifth: nobody's responsibility will be cleared until he defrays it: 
"Know ye this: whatever ye obtain of spoils, its fifth goes to Allah, the Messenger, and the 
(Messenger's) kinfolk (Qur'an, 8:41)." They are the ones upon whom Allah's favours have 
been bestowed as implied in this verse: "What Allah has bestowed on His Apostle - (and 
taken away) from them - for this ye made no expedition with either cavalry or camelry, but 
Allah gives power to His apostles over any He pleases, and Allah Has power over all things 
(Qur'an, 59:7)." 

They are Ahl alBayt addressed by Allah thus: "Allah desires to remove all abomination from 
you, Ahl alBayt, and purify you with a perfect purification (Qur'an, 33:33)." They are the 
family of Yasin whom Allah greets in the Glorious Qur'an thus: "Peace be unto the family of 
Yasin (Qur'an, 37: 130). "[491 And they are the family of Muhammad upon whom greetings 
and peace have been enforced by Allah Who says: "Allah and His angels send greetings unto 
the Prophet: O ye who believe! Send greetings unto him and many salutations (Qur'an, 



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33:56). "[501 



Some people asked the Prophet, peace be upon him and his progeny, "O Messenger of 
Allah! We know how to greet you with peace, but how can we greet you with prayers?" He, 
Allah's peace and blessings be upon him and his progeny, answered, "Say: v O Allah! Send 
blessings unto Muhammad and the family of Muhammad,'" according to the hadith. It was 
then understood then that greeting them was part of the prayers enjoined by this verse. This 
is why learned men have included the verse quoted above among others in their praise. Ibn 
Hajar has listed it in part 11 of his Al-Sawa^iq al-Muhriqa among verses in their praise, \5 11 
peace be upon them. A good resort for them and a good reward: Gardens of Eden with gates 
wide open to receive fhem.[521 

Who can compete with them? In the sun is meaning and heat, 

Parching, exerting the one who dares to compete. 

Allah has chosen them for His favours, and they are the ones who are faster than all others in 
doing good deeds; they inherit the Book of Allah; about them He has said the following 
therein: "Among men is one who wrongs his own self (by ignoring the Imams), and one who 
seeks righteousness (by following the Imams), and one who is faster than others in doing 
good deeds by the Will of Allah (who is the Imam himself): this indeed is Allah's great 
favour (Qur'an, 35:32)."f53] 

These verses which demonstrate the Imams' virtues and merits must suffice. Ibn "Abbas has 
said: "In praise of v Ali alone, three hundred verses were revealed. "[541 Others say that one 
fourth of the Holy Qur'an has been revealed in their praise. This comes as no surprise when 
we consider the fact that they and the Qur'an are twin brothers who do not separate from one 
another. 

Be satisfied for now with what we have stated here of the perfect verses of the Holy Qur'an. 
Take them easily going and returning, making the advent of morning beams, easily and 
nicely, forgiving and at ease, from someone very well acquainted therewith, for none can tell 
you better than one endowed with experience, and peace be with you. 

Sincerely, 

5/7 



OJ As it ruled in its departure therefrom according to the Almighty's statement: "Allah 
wishes to remove all abomination from you, members of Ahl al-Bayt (as) and purify you 
with a perfect purification (Qur'an, 33:33)." 

[21 Nay! Nobody else can claim that at all. They have been selected for it; so, nobody can 
reach their station nor dream of attaining their achievements. 

[3_1 Nay! Allah has selected them for it and preferred them over all others, saying: "Say (O 
Muhammad): V I do not ask you for any reward other than being kind to my kin,' and 
whoever attains a good deed [being kind to them], We shall certainly increase him in 



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goodness; verily, Allah is Forgiving [to those who are kind to them], Appreciative [of such 
kindness] (Qur'an, 42:23)." 

[41 Nay! The verse of Mubahala was revealed specifically in their praise. Allah, the Dear 
One, says therein: "Say (O Muhammad): "Let us bring our sons and your sons,... (Qur'an, 
3:61)." 

[51 This is a reference to the revelation of Ayat al- v Asr (Chapter of Time) regarding them 
and their foes, and whoever wishes to be familiar with this matter as dealt with in the verse 
of purification, verse of mubahala, the verse enjoining kindness to the Prophet's kin, and the 
verse of time, he must refer to our own statement in this regard, for it is the remedy for every 
ailment. It brings the foes back to their senses, and it provides knowledge for those who do 
not know, and praise be to Allah. 

[61 In his commentary on the meaning of this verse in his Al-Tafsir al-Kabir, Imam al- 
ThaTabi quotes Aban ibn Taghlib reporting that Imam JaTer al-Sadiq (as) has said: "We are 
Allah's rope about which He has said: "And uphold Allah's rope all of you together, and do 
not be separated (Qur'an, 3:103)'." Ibn Hajar has included this verse among others revealed 
in their praise, being the fifth in the series of verses which he enumerates in Chapter 1 1 of 
Al-Sawa^iq al-Muhriqa. While explaining its meaning, the author quotes al-ThaTabi, as you 
have heard above, citing Imam JaTer al-Sadiq (as). Imam al-Shaffi is quoted in Rashfatul 
Sadi by Imam Abu Bakr ibn Shihabud-Din as having said: 

When I saw people being carried away to the seas of misguidance and ignorance by their 
sects, 

I boarded, in the Name of Allah, the Ark of Salvation, that is, the Household of the Chosen 
One, the Seal of Prophets. 

And I upheld Allah's Rope, and it is obedience to them, as He has commanded us to uphold 
to the Rope. 

[7] The "truthful" here are Allah's Messengers and the Imams of his purified progeny, 
according to our consecutive sahihs, and as supported by al-Hafiz Abu Na"im and Muwaffaq 
ibn Ahmed, and transmitted by Ibn Hajar in his explanation of Chapter 5, Section 11, of Al- 
Sawa^iq al-Muhriqa, page 90, quoting Imam Zaynul "Abidin (as) in a statement quoted 
above (see Letter No. 6). 

[81 Imams al-Baqir and al-Sadiq (as) used to always say: "The RIGHT PATH here is the 
Imam, and do not follow diverse paths (imams of misguidance) for they will divert you from 
His Path (and we are His Path)." 

[91 In his authentic sahih, the trusted authority of Muslims, Muhammad ibn Ya'qub al- 
Kulayni, has quoted Burayd al-"Ajli saying: "I asked Abu Ja v fer (Imam Muhammad al- 
Baqir, as) about the verse saying: "Obey Allah, and obey the Messenger and those charged 
with authority among you (Qur'an, 4:59),' and he answered me by saying: "Have you not 
observed those (Jews) who are given a portion of the (knowledge of the) Book? They are 
invited to the Book of Allah so that it might decide between them, then a party among them 
turns back (therefrom), and they withdraw (Qur'an, 3:23),' how they believe in sorcerers and 
tyrants instead, and how they say to those who disbelieve that they are closer to the Straight 



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Path than the Believers? They tell the imams of misguidance and the callers unto the Fire 
that their guidance is more accurate than that of Muhammad's progeny; "Have you not seen 
those to whom a portion of the Book has been given? They believe in idols and false deities 
and say of those who disbelieve: These are better guided in the path than those who believe. 
Those are they whom Allah has cursed, and whoever Allah curses, you shall never find for 
them any helper. Or have they a share in the kingdom? But then they would not give people 
even the speck in a date stone (Qur'an, 4:51-53),' nor will they ever own aught of Allah's 
domain, that is, Imamate and Caliphate, \„ or do they envy the people for what Allah has 
bestowed upon them of His own favours (Qur'an, 4:54)?' We are the ones who are envied 
because of the Imamate which Allah has bestowed upon us rather than anyone else among 
His creation; "We bestowed upon the descendants of Ibrahim (Abraham) the Book and the 
Wisdom, and We provided them with a great kingdom (Qur'an, 4:54),' meaning He made 
some of them messengers, prophets, and imams; so, how can they recognize its existence to 
the descendants of Ibrahim while denying it to the descendants of Muhammad (pbuh)?!" 
"Among them are those who believed in it, and among them are those who turned away 
therefrom, and Hell suffices for a torment (Qur'an, 4:55)." 

r 101 Explaining this chapter, al-ThaTabi quotes Jabir saying the following in his book Al- 
Tafsir al-Kabir. "When this Chapter was revealed, "Ali (as) said: "We are the people of 
remembrance,' and this is the case with all the Imams of guidance." The Bahraini scholar has 
quoted in Chapter 35 more than twenty authentic ahadith bearing this meaning. 

ITU Ibn Mardawayh, in his explanation of this Chapter, has indicated that "... to argue with 
the Messenger" in this context means to dispute with him regarding "Ali (as), and the 
guidance referred to in the verse "... after guidance has been made manifest to him" is the 
guidance provided by "Ali, peace be upon him." In his Tafsir, al-"Ayyashi states something 
almost similar to this, and the sahihs are consecutive from the sources of the purified 
progeny in stating that "the path of the believers" is the path of their own (progeny), peace 
be upon them. 

fl21 Explaining this verse in Al-Tafsir al-Kabir, al-ThaTabi quotes Ibn "Abbas saying: 
"When this verse was revealed, the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) put his hand over his chest 
and said: "I am the warner and "Ali (as) is the guide, and through you, O "Ali, guidance is 
achieved.'" Many scholars of exegesis and authors of books of traditions quote Ibn "Abbas 
and Muhammad ibn Muslim saying: "I asked Abu "Abdullah (Imam Ja"fer al-Sadiq (as)) 
about the implications of this verse and he answered: "Each Imam is the guide of his time.' 
Imam Abu Ja"fer al-Baqir has said the following regarding its explanation: "The warner is 
the Messenger of Allah, and the guide is "Ali,' then he adds: "By Allah, imamate shall 
remain with us till the Hour approaches.'" 

r 1 31 In his exegesis of Surat al-Fatiha, al-ThaTabi, in his Al-Tafsir al-Kabir, quotes Abu 
Buraydah saying that "al-sirat al-mustaqim (the Straight Path) is the path of Muhammad 
(pbuh) and his progeny (as)." Interpreting this sura, Waki" ibn al-Jarirah quotes Sufyan al- 
Thawri through a chain of narrators including al-Sadi, Asht, Mujahid, all quoting Ibn "Abbas 
saying: ""Guide us to the Straight Path' means "Guide us to the love for Muhammad and his 
progeny.'" 

r 141 The Imams from among Ahl al-Bayt (as) are without any argument the masters of 
siddiqs, martyrs, and the righteous. 



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[151 Scholars of exegesis are unanimous, as al-Qawshaji, imam of the AsrTaris, has admitted 
in his chapter on "Sharh al-Tajrid," saying that this verse was revealed in honour of v Ali (as) 
when he offered charity while engaged in the ceremonial supplication performing the 
prayers. In his sahih, al-Nisa'i quotes "Abdullah ibn Salam testifying to its revelation in 
honour of "Ali (as). This view is supported by the author of Al-JamV Baynal Sihah al-Sitta 
while explaining Surat al-Ma'ida [Chapter of Table of Viands]. Al-Tha"labi has indicated its 
revelation in honour of the Commander of the Faithful in his book Al-Tafsir al-Kabir, as we 
will explain when we discuss it. 

[161 In Chapter 11, Part One, of his Al-Sawalq al-Muhriqa, Ibn Hajar states: "The guidance 
referred to in Chapter 8 which states: V I am all-Forgiving for those who repent, believe, and 
do good deeds, then seek guidance,' according to Thabit al-Banni, means the seeking of 
guidance from the household of the Prophet (pbuh).'" This is narrated from Abu JaTer al- 
Baqir, too. Ibn Hajar has narrated several ahadith testifying to the salvation of those who 
seek and act upon their guidance, peace be upon them. He also refers to what he quotes from 
al-Baqir's statement referring to the conversation between Imam al-Baqir (as) and al-Harith 
ibn Yahya in which the Imam says: "O Harith! Have you not seen how Allah has made it 
clear that repentance, belief, and good deeds are not sufficient without seeking guidance 
from our authority?' then he, peace be upon him, quotes his grandfather the Commander of 
the Faithful saying: "By Allah! If a man repents, believes, and does good deeds, but he does 
not seek guidance from our authority, nor recognizes our rights, all of these things will be 
utterly in vain.'" Abu Na'im the hafiz quotes Awn ibn Abu Jahufah who in turn quotes his 
father narrating a similar tradition from "Ali (as). Al-Hakim has published similar ahadith 
from Imams al-Baqir and al-Sadiq (as), and from Thabit al-Banni and Anas ibn Malik. 

[171 Refer to the meaning of this verse in Al-Safi, and in 'Ali ibn Ibrahim's Tafsir, and to the 
traditions narrated by Sunnis explaining its meaning as compiled by the Bahraini scholar in 
Chapter 115 of his work Ghayat al-Maram. 

[181 In chapter 224 of Ghayat al-Maram, the Bahraini scholar quotes twelve traditions from 
our sahihs testifying to the fact that this verse was revealed regarding "Ali's government and 
that of the Imams among his descendants, barring the leadership of all others. In Chapter 
223, he states that al-Asfahani al-Amawi narrates the same about 'AH (as) quoting various 
sources. 

[191 In Chapter 48 of his Ghayat al-Maram, the Bahraini scholar quotes three ahadith 
narrated by Sunnis testifying to the fact that the "bliss" here is what Allah has blessed people 
through the government of His Messenger (pbuh), that of the Commander of the Faithful 
and Ahl al-Bayt (as). In Chapter 49, he quotes twelve ahadith from our sahihs reflecting the 
same; so, refer to it if you wish. 

[201 Only one Sunni faqih among the authors of books of traditions, namely Imam al- 
Wahidi, while commenting on Surat al-Ma'ida in his book Asbab al-Nuzul, quotes Abu Sa'id 
al-Khudri saying: "This verse was revealed on the Day of Ghadir Khumm in honour of 'Ali 
ibn Abu Talib (as)." Imam al-ThaTabi has included it in his Tafsir from two sources, and al- 
Hamawani al-Shafri includes it in his Fara'id from various sources from Abu Hurayrah, and 
it is transmitted by Abu Na'im in his book Nuzul al-Qur'an from two sources: Abu Raff and 
al-A v mash, both quoting "Atiyyah. In Ghyat al-Maram, there are nine ahadith narrated by 
Sunnis and eight authentic ones by Shfas conveying the same meaning; so, refer to it in 



Sayyid 'Abd al-Husayn Sharaf al-Din al-Musawi 



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Chapters 37 and 38. 



f21 1 This text is stated by Imam Abu JaTer al-Baqir (as), succeeded in narrating it by Imam 
Abu "Abdullah al-Sadiq (as). According to authentic narrations, Sunnis have included six 
ahadith in their own books of traditions that in the end quote the Messenger of Allah, peace 
be upon him and his progeny, quite clearly emphasizing this very theme. Its explanation 
exists in Chapters 39 and 40 of Ghayat al-Maram. 

[221 Imam al-ThaTabi has detailed the explanation of this matter in his Al-Tafsir al-Kabir, 
and it is transmitted by the Egyptian scholar al-Shiblinji who details "Ali's biography in his 
book Nur al-Absar, page 171, where he, too, explains it in detail. Al-Halabi mentions it at 
the conclusion of his chapter "Hijjatul Wada"" in Vol. 3 of his book Al-Sira al-Halabiyya. 
Al-Hakim narrates it in "Tafsir al-Maarij" in his Al-Mustadrak, page 502, Vol. 2. 

[231 Al-Daylami, as is the case with the explanation of this verse in Al-Sawalq al-Muhriqa 
states that Sa v id al-Khudri quotes the Prophet (pbuh) saying: "Follow in their footsteps, for 
they are responsible concerning "Ali's wilayat." Al-Wahidi, as is the case with the author of 
Al-Sawaiq al-Muhriqa, explains this verse by saying: "It has been narrated regarding 
Allah's statement: "Follow in their footsteps, for they are responsible...,' that the 
responsibility referred to here is regarding "Ali's government and that of Ahl al-Bayt (as),'" 
adding: "For Allah commanded His Prophet (pbuh) to make people aware of the fact that he 
does not ask them for any rewards for conveying His Message other than being kind to his 
kin..., that is, they will be asked if they properly submitted to their wilayat as the Prophet 
(pbuh) had instructed them, or if they lost it and discarded it, thus becoming subject to 
Allah's demands and the consequences of such discarding." Ibn Hajar includes it in Chapter 
11 of his Al-Sawa^iq al-Muhriqa among the verses revealed in their praise, being number 4 
in such sequence, and he elaborates on it a great deal. 

[241 Refer to what Abu Na'im al-Hafiz has quoted in his Hilyat al-Awliya, and to what is 
recorded by al-ThaTabi, al-Nisaburi, and al-Barqi regarding its meaning in their own tafsir 
books, and to what Ibrahim ibn Muhammad al-Hamawini and other Sunnis have said. Also 
refer to what Abu "Ali al-Tibrisi has said while explaining its meaning in his book Mujma^ul 
Bayan fi Tafsir al-Qur'an, quoting the Commander of the Faithful (as). What Chapters 44 
and 45 of Ghayat al-Maram state in this meaning is something that dispels all doubts. 

r251 Our own discourse about Ahl al-Bayt (as), while explaining this verse, testifies to this 
fact. 

[261 Ibn al-Maghazli al-Shaffi quotes Ibn v Abbas saying: "When the Messenger of Allah, 
peace be upon him and his progeny, was asked about the words which Adam had received 
from his Lord and whereby his repentance was accepted, he (pbuh) said: v He [Adam] asked 
Him by the prestige He held for Muhammad, v Ali, Fatima, al-Hasan, and al-Husayn, and 
thus did He accept his repentance and forgive him.'" This is what we know for a fact to be 
the meaning of this verse. 

[271 Refer to Al-SawaHq al-Muhriqa by Ibn Hajar who interprets the verse of the Almighty: 
"Allah would not torment them..." as verse 7 of those revealed in their honour as recorded in 
Chapter 1 1 of the said book where the author endorses our own view stated here. 

[281 This is admitted by Ibn Hajar who counts this verse among the ones revealed in their 
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Al-Muraja'at 56 
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honour, numbering it 6 in Chapter 11 of his Al-Sawa^iq al-Muhriqa. Ibn al-Maghazli al- 
ShafTi, as indicated in the explanation of this verse in Al-Sawa^iq al-Muhriqa, quotes Imam 
al-Baqir (as) saying: "By Allah, we are the ones who are envied." In Chapters 60 and 61 of 
Ghayat al-Maram, as many as thirty authentic ahadith are recorded in this meaning. 

f291 This is quoted by Thiqatul-Islam Muhammad ibn Ya'qub al-Kulayni who quotes an 
authentic hadith from Imam al-Sadiq (as) saying: "We are a people the obedience to whom 
has been mandated by Allah, the Exalted and the Sublime; we are the ones who are deeply 
rooted in knowledge, and we are the ones who are envied. Allah Almighty has said: "Or 
should they envy (certain) people for what Allah has granted them out of His own favour?'" 
This has also been quoted by al-Shaykh in his Tahthib, also quoting Imam al-Sadiq, peace 
be upon him. 

r301 While explaining this verse in his Tafsir, al-ThaTabi quotes Ibn "Abbas saying: "The 
v a"raf is an elevated place of the Sirat whereupon al- v Abbas, Hamzah, v Ali and Ja'fer of the 
two wings identify the ones who love them by the sign of the whiteness of their 
countenance, and the ones who hate them by its blackness." Al-Hakim, too, has quoted v Ali 
(as) saying: "We shall stand, on the Day of Judgment, between Paradise and Hell, and we 
shall recognize those who support us by their mark and would let them enter Paradise, and 
we shall recognize those who hate us also by their marks." Salman al-Farisi is quoted saying: 
"I have heard the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his progeny, saying: v O "AH! 
You and the wasis from your descendants are on the A"raf.'" This is supported by the hadith 
quoted by Dar Qutni at the conclusion of Part Two, Chapter 9, of Al-Sawalq al-Muhriqa. It 
indicates that "Ali (as) delivered a lengthy address to the six persons assigned by "Umer to 
be in charge of the shura in which he stated: "I ask you in the Name of Allah if anyone 
among you has been told similarly to what I was told by the Messenger of Allah, peace be 
upon him and his progeny, and that is: "O "Ali! You are the one who will designate the 
destination of every person on the Day of Judgment either to Paradise or to Hell'?" They 
responded: "No, indeed." Ibn Hajar states the following: "The meaning of this hadith is what 
is narrated by Antarah from Imam "Ali al-Rida (as) who quotes the Prophet, peace be upon 
him and his progeny, saying the following to "Ali (as): "O "Ali! You are the one who will 
assign people to either Paradise or Hell on the Day of Judgment, telling Hell which one is 
hers and which one is not.'" Ibn Hajar says: "Ibn al-Sammak narrates that Abu Bakr has said 
to "Ali (as), may Allah be pleased with both men, "I have heard the Messenger of Allah 
saying: "Nobody can pass on the Sirat except the one permitted by "Ali."' 

r3 1 1 In Section 5, Chapter 9, of Al-Sawa^iq al-Muhriqa, Ibn Hajar, while discussing "Ali's 
assassination, indicates that when "Ali (as) was on the pulpit in Kufa, he was asked to 
explain the verse in which this phrase occurs: "Men who proved truthful to their promise to 
Allah," and he answered by saying: "O Lord! Forgive them; this verse was revealed in 
honour of myself, my uncle Hamzah, and my cousin "Ubaydah ibn alHarith ibn alMuttalib. 
"Ubaydah died a martyr in Badr; Hamzah died a martyr on Uhud; as to myself, I am 
awaiting a most painful death, when this shall be drenched from the blood of this," pointing 
with his hand to his beard and head respectively; "It is a true promise made to me by my 
beloved Father of alQasim, peace be upon him and his progeny." AlHakim, while 
interpreting this verse as quoted in al-Tibrisi's Mujma^ul Bayan fi Tafsir al-Qur'an, cites 
"Umer ibn Thabit quoting Abu Ishaq quoting "Ali, peace be upon him, saying: "On our own 
behalf was this verse revealed: "Men who proved truthful to their promise to Allah...,' and I 
by Allah am waiting, and I have never changed aught." 



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[321 Mujahid and Ya"qub ibn Sufyan quote Ibn "Abbas's interpretation of the verse saying 
"And when they see trade or amusement, they rush to it, leaving you standing (for prayers 
alone)," thus: "Dahyah alKalbi once came from Syria on a Friday with a merchandise of 
foodstuff and he came to a place called Ahjar alZayt where he announced his presence by 
beating drums to invite people to him. People, therefore, rushed to him, leaving the Prophet 
(pbuh) standing on the pulpit preaching with only "Ali, alHasan, alHusayn, Fatima, Salman, 
Abu Tharr, and alMiqdad. The Prophet (pbuh) then said: "Allah has cast a look at my 
mosque on a Friday, and had it not been for the presence of these persons, He would have 
set the city on fire and hurled stones at its inhabitants as He did with the people of Lut.' 
Allah has revealed in honour of those who remained with the Messenger of Allah at the 
mosque the verse saying: "Praising Him therein, during the night and at early dawn, men 
whom neither trade nor sale can divert.'" 

f331 Al-ThaTabi, while discussing the meaning of this verse in his Al-Tafsir al-Kabir, quotes 
Anas ibn Malik and Burayd saying: "The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) once read the verse 
saying \„ in houses which Allah has desired that they should be elevated, and His Name 
shall be mentioned therein,' whereupon Abu Bakr stood up and said: "0 Messenger of Allah! 
Is this house (then he pointed to the house where "Ali and Fatima where living) among 
them?' The Prophet (pbuh) answered: "Yes; one of their choicest." In Chapter 12 of Ghayat 
al-Maram, there are nine authentic ahadith through which the light of dawn shines. 

f341 This is a reference to the verse saying: "The similitude of His Light is a Lamp..." Ibn al- 
Maghazli al-Shafi"i has quoted "Ali ibn Ja"fer in his Manaqib saying: "I asked the father of 
al-Hasan (Imam al-Kazim, peace be upon him) about the verse saying "... like a niche 
wherein a lamp...,' and he, peace be upon him, answered: "The niche is Fatima, the Lamp 
symbolizes al-Hasan and al-Husayn, and "the glass is like a shining star,' indicates that 
Fatima shone like a star among all the women of the world, receiving its fuel from a blessed 
tree, the family-tree of Ibrahim (Abraham), neither of the east nor of the west, neither Jewish 
nor Christian, "its oil almost shines (by itself),' indicates that knowledge almost speaks of 
itself even when no fire touches it, "light upon light,' wherein there is one Imam after 
anoother, "Allah guides whomsoever He pleases to His Light,' implies that Allah guides to 
our wilayat whomsoever He pleases.'" Suffices such an interpretation to be coming from a 
member of the household upon whom the revelation descended. 

r351 Al-Daylami, as in hadith 29, Part Two, Section 9, of Al-Sawalq al-Muhriqa by Ibn 
Hajar, quotes "Ayesha, al-Tabrani, Ibn Mardawayh, all citing Ibn "Abbas saying that the 
Prophet (pbuh) has said: "The foremost in believing in the Prophets are three men: Joshua 
son of Nun who was the foremost in believing in Moses (as); the one referred to in Chapter 
Yasin who was the foremost in believing in Christ (as), and the foremost in believing in 
Muhammad is "Ali ibn Abu Talib (as)." This hadith is quoted by al-Muwaffaq ibn Ahmed 
and the faqih Ibn al-Maghazli, both quoting Ibn "Abbas. 

f361 Ibn al-Najjar, as in hadith 30 referred to in Al-Sawa^iq al-Muhriqa quotes Ibn "Abbas 
saying that the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) has said: "The siddiqs are three: Ezekiel, who was 
the foremost to believe [in Moses] from among the descendants of Pharaoh; Habib al-Najjar, 
who is referred to in Chapter Yasin, and "Ali ibn Abu Talib (as)." Abu Na"im and Ibn 
"Asakir, as in hadith 31 referred to in Al-Sawa^iq al-Muhriqa quotes Ibn Abu Layla saying 
that the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) has said: "The siddiqs are three: Habib al-Najjar, the 
believer referred to in Chapter Ali Yasin as saying: "O my people, follow the Messengers;' 
Ezekiel, who was the foremost to believe [in Moses] from among the descendants of 



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Pharaoh, who said: v Do you kill a man just for saying that his Lord is Allah?' and v Ali ibn 
Abu Talib (as), who is the best of them.'" Sahihs are consecutively reported in stating that he 
is the supreme siddiq and the greatest far uq. 

r371 The most distinguished among Sunni Imams, namely Muwaffaq ibn Ahmed, has quoted 
Abu Bakr ibn Mardawayh citing 'Ali (as) saying: "This nation will be divided into seventy- 
three groups; with the exception of one, all the rest will go to Hell; this (lucky) group is the 
one in whose honour Allah, the Exalted and the omni-Scient, has said: 'Among those whom 
We have created is a group that guides towards righteousness, and through righteousness 
(alone) do they achieve equity,' and they include me and my Shi'as." 

r381 In his Amali, Shaykh al-Tusi correctly quotes the Commander of the Faithful saying 
that the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his progeny, once recited the following 
verse: "The companions of the Fire are not equal to those who are the companions of 
Paradise," whereupon he explained saying: "The companions of Paradise are those who have 
followed me and recognized the authority of 'AH ibn Abu Talib (as) after me." He was 
asked: "What about the companions of the Fire?" He answered: "These include the ones who 
are dissatisfied with his CAli's) government, those who shall violate the covenant and fight 
him after my demise." This hadith is quoted by al-Saduq from 'Ali, peace be upon him. 
Abul-Mu'ayyad Muwaffaq ibn Ahmed has quoted Jabir saying that the Messenger of Allah, 
peace be upon him and his progeny, has said: "By the One in whose hands my soul is, this 
CAli) and his Shi" as are the winners on the Day of Judgment." 

f391 Refer to the meaning of this verse in 'Ali ibn Ibrahim's tafsir if you wish, or Chapters 
81 and 82 of Ghayat al-Maram. 

KOI This verse descended to honor al-Hamzah, 'Ali (as), and 'Ubaydah who came out to 
battle 'Utbah, Shaybah, and al-Walid. The believers are Hamzah, v Ali (as), and 'Ubaydah, 
and the ones who committed wrong deeds are 'Utbah, Shaybah, and al-Walid. There are 
many authentic ahadith supporting this argument. 

r411 Suffices you for proof the fact that Ibn Hajar has admitted its revelation in their own 
honor, counting it among the verses in their favour, numbering it 1 1 among such verses in 
Part One, Chapter 11, of his Al-Sawalq al-Muhriqa; so, refer to it to see the verses we have 
quoted in reference to this verse in the chapter dealing with Sunnis giving credence to Shi" as 
in our book Al-Fusul al-Muhimma. 

r421 Al-Bukhari, in his explanation of the Qur'anic Chapter dealing with hajj, on page 107, 
Vol. 3, of his sahih, quotes 'Ali (as) saying: "I am the first to kneel down to submit a 
complaint before Allah on the Day of Judgment." Al-Bukhari then quotes Qays saying: "On 
their behalf this verse was revealed: "These are two opponents who have brought their case 
before their Lord.' They are the ones who came out on Badr to battle "Ali (as) and his two 
companions, Hamzah and "Ubaydah, namely Shaybah ibn Rabi'ah and his two fellows 
'Utbah ibn Rabi'ah and al-Walid ibn v Utbah." On the same page, he quotes Abu Tharr 
saying that he used to swear by the verse referring to the two opponents who disputed about 
their Lord which was revealed in honour of 'Ali (as) and two of his companions, and about 
'Utbah and both of his companions when they came out to duel at Badr. 

f431 This verse was revealed on behalf of the Commander of the Faithful (as) versus al- 
Walid ibn 'Uqbah ibn Abu Ma' it, without any argument. This is ascertained by traditionists 



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and endorsed by scholars of exegesis. Imam Abul-Hasan 'Ali ibn Ahmed al-Wahidi, while 
discussind this verse in his book Asbab a-Nuzul, quotes Sa v id ibn Jubayr citing Ibn v Abbas 
saying that al-Walid ibn 'Uqbah ibn Abu Ma'it once said to 'Ali ibn Abu Talib (as): "I am 
stronger than you; my speech is more eloquent, and I am faster than you in raising an army." 
v Ali (as) said: "Say no more, for you are none other than a debauchee," whereupon the verse 
"Is that who is a believer similar to that who is a debauchee? They certainly are not alike," 
was revealed, describing 'Ali (as) as the believer and al-Walid ibn 'Uqbah as the debauchee. 

[441 This verse was revealed in honour of v Ali (as), his uncle al- v Abbas, and Talhah ibn 
Shaybah who started thus bragging: "I am in charge of the House (Ka'ba); I have its keys, 
and mine is its covering cloth." AW Abbas said: "I am the one in charge of siqaya and 
maintenance." 'AH (as) said: "I do not know what you both say, for I have said my prayers 
in the company of the one [Prophet Muhammad, pbuh] who leads the jihad six months prior 
to anyone else among all people," whereupon Allah revealed the verse cited above. This is 
stated by Imam al-Wahidi while explaining the meaning of this verse in his book Asbab al- 
Nuzul citing al-Hasan al-Basri, al-Sha'bi, and al-Qurtubi. He also quotes Ibn Sirin and 
Murrah al-Hamadani saying that 'Ali (as) said the following to al-' Abbas once: "Aren't you 
going to migrate? Aren't you going to join the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and 
his progeny?" He answered: "Do not I have a responsibility that is superior to the migration? 
Do not I provide water to the pilgrims of the House of Allah and maintain its Haram?" 
whereupon this verse was revealed. 

r451 On page 4, Vol. 3, of his Al-Mustadrak, al-Hakim quotes Ibn 'Abbas saying: " v Ali has 
bartered his own life and has, indeed, put on the Prophet's garb." Al-Hakim testifies to the 
authenticity of this hadith according to the endorsement of both Shaykhs, although the latter 
did not narrate it themselves. In his Talkhis al-Mustadrak, al-Hakim admits the same on the 
said page, quoting Imam 'Ali ibn al-Husain (as) saying: "The first to barter his life for the 
Pleasure of Allah is v Ali ibn Abu Talib (as) who slept in the bed of the Messenger of Allah 
(pbuh)," then he quoted a few verses of poetry attributed to v Ali (as) beginning with these: 

I have safeguarded with my own life and strength 

That of the best who walked on the surface of earth, 

And circled the Ancient House, though alone, 

And also around the [Black] Stone. 

[461 Traditionists, scholars of exegesis, and authors who have written about the causes of 
revelation of the Holy Qur'an have all quoted Ibn 'Abbas explaining the verse reading: 
"Those who spend their wealth in charity at night, during the day, in secrecy, and in the 
open," by saying: "This verse was revealed in honour of 'Ali ibn Abu Talib (as) who had 
once in his possession four dirhams; he spent one of them in the Cause of Allah at night, one 
during the day, one in secrecy, and in public also one; therefore, this verse was revealed to 
appreciate what he did." Imam al-Wahidi, too, has quoted this hadith of Ibn v Abbas in his 
book Asbabul-Nuzul. He also quotes Mujahid narrating it, and he transmits it from al-Kalbi 
in more detail. 

[471 The one who has brought forth the truth is the Messenger of Allah, and the one who has 
believed therein is the Commander of the Faithful (as), according to the hadith of al-Baqir, 

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al-Sadiq, al-Kazim, al-Rida, peace be upon all of them, as well as by Ibn 'Abbas, Ibn al- 
hanafiyyah, 'Abdullah ibn al-Hasan, the martyred Zayd ibn "Ali ibn al-Husayn, and "AH ibn 
Ja"fer al-Sadiq (as). The Commander of the Faithful used to use this verse as a testimonial. 
Ibn al-Maghazli, in his Manaqib, quotes Mujahid saying: "The one who has brought the 
truth is Muhammad (pbuh), and the one who has believed in him is "Ali (as)." Both huffaz, 
that is, Ibn Mardawayh and Abu Na"im, have quoted it, and so have others. 

r481 In his exegesis of Surat al-Tur on page 468, Vol. 2, of his authentic Al-Mustadrak, al- 
Hakim quotes Ibn "Abbas paraphrasing the verse reading: "And those who believe and 
whose families follow them in faith, to them shall We join their families: nor shall We 
deprive them (of the fruit) of aught of their good deeds; yet each individual is pawned to 
what deeds he has done," by saying: "Allah shall elevate the status of a believer's 
descendants so that they would be able to join him in Paradise, even if they may be in a 
lower station," then he recited the same verse again and said: "Allah says He will not 
decrease their rewards aught." 

r491 This is the third verse of the ones enumerated by Ibn Hajar in Chapter 11 of his Al- 
Sawalq al-Muhriqa. The author goes on to say that a group of scholars of exegesis have 
quoted Ibn "Abbas saying: "The implication of this verse is to send salutations unto 
Muhammad's Progeny (as)." Ibn Hajar says that al-Kalbi, too, has given it the same 
meaning, then he adds: "Al-Fakhr al-Razi has stated that the Prophet's Progeny constitutes 
his ["Ali's] peer in five instances: Allah has greeted him by saying: "Peace be unto you, O 
Messenger, and unto the Progeny of Yasin,' in sending prayers unto him and them in 
tashahhud, sadaqa, and tahara, when the Almighty says: "Taha,' that is, tahir, purified, and: 
"... purifies you with a perfect purification;' in loving them, saying: "Follow me so that Allah 
may love you,' and also: "Say: I do not ask you for any reward other than being kind to my 
kin.'" 

r501 Al-Bukhari has quoted it in his tafsir of the holy Qur'an, in Vol. 3 of his Sahih, in a 
chapter dealing with the verse "Allah and His angels send salutations unto Muhammad," in 
his exegesis of Surat al-Ahzab. It is also quoted by Muslim in a chapter on sending greetings 
unto the Prophet (pbuh) in his book on prayers in Vol. 1 of his Sahih, and it is quoted by all 
traditionists from Ka"b ibn "Ajrah. 

r511 Refer to the second of these verses on page 87. 

[521 Al-ThaTabi, while discussing its meaning in his Al-Tafsir al-Kabir, quotes hadith in 
which the Messenger of Allhh, peace be upon him and his progeny, says: "Tuba is a tree in 
Paradise whose root is in my home and whose branch overshadows the residents of 
Paradise." Some people asked: "O Messenger of Allah! We have asked you before about it, 
and you told us that its root is in "Ali's home and its branch is above the residents of 
Paradise," whereupon he, peace be upon him and his progeny, said: "Aren't my home and 
"Ali's the same?" 

r531 Thiqatul-Islam al-Kulayni has quoted in an authentic hadith Salim saying that he once 
asked Abu Ja"fer (Imam al-Baqir) about the meaning of the verse: "Then We let those whom 
We have selected from among Our servants inherit the Book." The Imam, peace be upon 
him, explained it as follows: "The one who rushes to do good deeds is the Imam; the one 
who is moderate is the one who knows the value of the Imam; and the one who does 
injustice to his own self is the one who is not aware of the significance of the Imam." 



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Something similar to this is cited from Imams Abu 'Abdullah al-Sadiq (as), Abul-Hasan al- 
Kazim, and Abul-Hasan al-Rida, peace be upon them, who are quoted by al-Saduq and by 
many others among our narrators. Ibn Mardawayh quotes v Ali (as) explaining this verse 
thus: "The ones implied in this verse are we," and the details are available in our book Tanzil 
al-Ayat, as well as in Ghayat al-Maram. 

[541 This is quoted by Ibn v Asakir from Ibn 'Abbas, as stated in Section 3, Chapter 9, page 
76, of Al-Sawalq al-Muhriqa. 



Letter 13 
Argument Regarding These Traditions Weak 

Thul-Qi da 1329 

May Allah bless your hand and pen! How elevated their pages above the position of that 
who challenges and opposes! How defensible their wise writings against the sight of the 
critic and researcher! Their pages struggle towards one destination, going along an aimed 
path, in a purposeful way. Their arguments do not come across the hearing of the wise 
without reverberating in acclamation. 

Concerning your latest letter, its torrent has been overflowing, overbrimming, supported by 
perfect verses and worthy proofs, with your own self coming thereby out of the charge put 
forth against you without committing any shortcoming in whatever entrusted to you. 
Whoever challenges you is bad in argument, stubborn, arguing about falsehood and acting 
like the ignorant. 

Your opponents, however, may argue that those who narrated these verses supporting your 
argument are Shfa, and these cannot be relied upon by the Sunnis. What would your 
answer, therefore, be? Please kindly provide it, if you will, and please do accept my thanks. 
Peace be with you. 

Sincerely, 

5 



Letter 14 

I Fallacy of Opponent's Argument, 

II Opponents do not Know ShTas, 
Distinction of Emphasizing Illegality of Falsifying Hadith. 



Thul-Qi da 1329 

1) Our answer is that the argument of such opponents is wrong. It is baseless because of the 
fallacy of its minor and major arguments. 



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As for its minor argument, that is, the claim that "Those who narrated the verses concerning 
your argument are Shi" a" is obviously false as testified by reliable Sunni authorities who 
recorded their statements in the meaning which we have stated. Their musnads testify to the 
fact that they are even more in number than Shi" as, as we explained in our book Tanzilul Ayat 
alBahira, in our chapter titled "Virtues of the Purified "zYra." You may also refer to Ghayatul 
Maram which is widely circulated throughout the Muslim world. 

As for the major one, that is, the claim that Shi" as are not regarded by Sunnis as reliable (in 
narrating hadith), its fallacy is even more obvious than that of the minor one. Sunni Musndads 
bear testimony to this fact, and the authorities they relied upon are full of Shi" a names. Take, 
for example, their six sahih books and others which use them as their authorities, the latter 
being charged by those who attribute to them deviation from the Right Path, stamp them with 
the stamps of "Rafidis" and "deviators." To them have they attributed extremism, fanaticism, 
and deviation from the Path. 

Among Bukhari's mentors are Shi"a men who have been charged with being "Rafidi" and 
stamped with hatred; nevertheless, this has never made Bukhari nor others doubt their fair- 
mindedness. The latter relied upon them even in the sahih books feeling very comfortable 
with doing so. So; will the opponents who say that "Shi" as are not relied upon by Sunnis" find 
a listening ear? Of course not! 

2) Such opponents, however, are ignorant. Had they known the truth, they would have come 
to know the fact that Shi" as have followed in the footsteps of and have emulated the Purified 
Htra. Their manners are the "iYra's; therefore, everyone they relied upon is unmatchable in 
truthfulness and trustworthiness. Unmatchable are their reliable heroes in piety and caution. 
There are no peers for them among their dependable dignitaries in their forsaking the 
pleasures of this world, in their piety, worship, good manners, selfdiscipline, selfdenial, and 
selfcriticism. Nobody can equal them in ascertaining facts and looking for them with extreme 
care and moderation. 

Had the opponent assessed their value, just as it is in reality, he would have put his confidence 
in them, entrusting his affairs to them. But his ignorance of them has made him wander at 
random about them like one riding a blind animal in a dark night. He would charge the 
trustees of Islam such as Muhammad ibn Ya"qub alKulayni, and a truthful among Muslims 
like Muhammad ibn "Ali ibn Babawayh alQummi, and a mentor of the nation such as 
Muhammad ibn alHasan ibn "Ali alTusi. He would belittle their sacred books which are the 
custodians of the knowledge of the family of Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him 
and them, doubting their mentors who are the pioneers of knowledge and the ones who equal 
the Holy Qur'an and who have dedicated their lives to promote the teachings of Allah, the 
Sublime, the Almighty, His book and His Messenger, peace be upon him and his progeny, and 
the Imams of Muslims and their commoners. 

3) Both righteous and vicious individuals have equally come to know how these virtuous men 
judge the case of telling lies. Thousands of their books curse lying, labelling falsification of 
hadith as sins punishable by Hell-fire. They are distinguished by their judgment of intentional 
falsification of hadith. They have considered it to break the fast, requiring both compensation 
and penitence from the person who commits it during the month of Ramadan, and they also 
require the same for whatever causes the breaking of the fast. Their Fiqh and hadith are very 
clear in this regard; therefore, how can anybody charge their narrators while they are the 
good, the virtuous, the ones who spend the night praying and the day fasting? Since when 



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Al-Muraja'at 63 
Shi'i-Sunni dialogue 

have the virtuous among the followers and supporters of Muhammad's family been charged, 
while the Kharijis, Murji'is and Qadris have not? What other than obvious enmity and ugly 
ignorance? We seek refuge with Allah against forsaking us, and from Him do we seek help 
against the bad consequences of injustice and oppression. There is no might nor power except 
in Allah, the Sublime, the Almighty, and peace be with you. 

Sincerely, 

Sh 



Letter 15 

I A Flash of the Truth, 

II Requesting Details on Sunnis Relying on ShPa Authorities. 



Thul-QPda 1329 

1) Your latest letter has been perfect in organization, clear in expression, sweet, great in 
benefit, easily accessible, vast in sphere, farsighted, wellsupported. I have looked into it 
keenly, and from among its contents indications of your success have flashed, and signs of 
your victory shone. 

2) When you stated that Sunnis rely on Shfas, however, you were very brief. You did not 
elaborate on your statement in this regard. It would have been better had you mentioned those 
men by their names and quoted Sunni texts indicating that those men were Shi' as and that 
they nevertheless relied on them. Could you please provide it so that the flags of truth may be 
seen and the lights of certainty shine? Peace be with you. 

Sincerely, 

5 



Letter 16 

A Hundred ShTa Authorities Relied upon by Sunnis 

Thul-Qi da 1329 

Yes. I will provide you in a hurry with what you have requested, confining myself to some 
of those personalities who were visited by people from far and wide, on the condition that I 
will not be required to elaborate on them, since there is no room for that in this brief 
exposition. Here are their names and the names of their fathers arranged alphabetically:jjj 

1. Aban ibn Taghlib 

He was a Kufi] reciter of the Holy Qur'an. AlThahbi has recorded his biography in his own 
Mizan saying, "Aban ibn Taghlib, MAW, of Kufa, is a persistant Shfa. He, nevertheless, is 

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truthful; so, we will rely on his truthfulness, and let him be punished for his innovation." He 
has also said that Ahmed ibn Hanbal, Ibn Ma' in and Abu Hatim put their trust in him. Ibn 
'Adi quotes him and says that he is "extremist in Shi'ism." AlSa'di describes him as "an 
open deviator." Ibn alThahbi goes on to describe the man's credentials, counting him as an 
authority relied upon by Muslim and authors of the four Sunan books, namely Abu Dawud, 
alTirmithi, alNisa'i and Ibn Majah, marking his name with the latter's initials. Refer to his 
narration of hadith in Muslim's Sahih, in the four Sunan books through alHakam and al- 
A'mash, in addition to Fudayl ibn v Umer. Sufyan ibn v Ayinah, Shu'bah, and Idris alAwdi 
quote him as recorded in Muslim's book. He died, may Allah have mercy on him, in 141 
A.H. 

2. Ibrahim ibn Yazid 

His name is Ibrahim ibn Yazid ibn v Umer ibn alAswad alNakff i alKufi, the faqih. His 
mother is Malika daughter of Yazid ibn Qays alNakffi and sister of alAswad, Ibrahim, and 
v AbdelRahman, sons of Yazid ibn Qays. Like their uncles v Alqamah and Ubay, sons of 
Qays, they were all among the most reliable and authoritative among all Muslims. Authors 
of the six sahih books, as well as others, have all relied upon their authority while keeping in 
mind thier being Shi' as. 

As regarding our man Ibrahim ibn Yazid, he has been included among Shfa dignitaries by 
Ibn Qutaybah] on page 206 of his work Al-Maarif where he enumerates a few Shfa 
dignitaries, taking his reliability for granted. Refer to his hadith in Bukhari's and Muslim's 
Sahih books as quoted by the mother of his uncle "Alqamah ibn Qays, and by Humam ibn 
alHarith, Abu 'Ubaydah ibn 'Abdullah ibn Mas'ud, 'Ubaydah, alAswad ibn Yazid, his 
uncle. Refer also to his hadith in Muslim's Sahih through his uncle from his mother's side, 
v Abdul-Rahman ibn Yazid, and through Sahm ibn Munjab, Abu Mu'ammar, "Ubayd ibn 
Nadlah, and 'Abis. In the two sahihs, he is quoted by Fudayl ibn 'Umer, alMughirah, Ziyad 
ibn Kulayb, Wasil, alHasan ibn "Ubaydullah, Hammad ibn Abu Sulayman, and by Sammak. 
Ibrahim was born in 50 A.H., and he died at the age of either 95 or 96, four months after al- 
Hajjaj's death. 

3. Ahmed ibn alMufdil 

He is Ahmed ibn alMufdil ibn alKufi alHafri. Abu Zar'ah and Abu Hatim quote him and 
rely upon him while being fully aware of his status among Shi'as. In Ahmed's biography, as 
stated in Al-Mizan, Abu Hatim highlights this fact by saying: "Ahmed ibn alMufdil is one of 
the Shfa chiefs, and he is truthful." AlThahbi mentions him in his book Al-Mizan, putting on 
his name Abu Dawud's and alNisa'i's initials, indicating thereby that they consider him an 
authority. Refer to his hadith in their sahih through alThawri. He narrates through Asbat ibn 
Nasir and Isra'i. 

7. IsmaMl ibn 'Abbad 

His full name is Isma'il ibn v Abbad ibn alAbbas alTaleqani (AbulQasim), better known as 
alSahib ibn "Abbad. AlThahbi has mentioned him in his book Al-Mizan, putting "DT" on his 
name to indicate that both Dawud and al-Tirmithi rely on him in their sahih books. [21 Then 
he goes on to describe him as "a talented Shfa, a man of letters". His being Shfa is a matter 
which cannot be doubted by anyone. For this reason, he and his father earned high marks of 
prestige and greatness in the Buwayhid state. He is the first person among their government 



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ministers to be called "sahib" (companion, friend), since he was, since his adolescence, a 
companion of Mu'ayyed alDawlah ibn Buwayh. This title followed him as he grew up till he 
was known thereby. Later on, it was used for anyone who held the same reins of 
responsibility in the government. First, he was minister to Mu'ayyed alDawlah Abu Mansur 
ibn Rukn alDawlah ibn Buwayh. After the latter's demise in Sha'ban of 373 in Jurjan, Abul- 
Hasan 'Ali, better known as Fakhr alDawlah, brother of Mu'ayyed, seized authority and 
retained Sahib's position. Fakhr alDawlah held Sahib in high esteem and fulfilled his wishes 
in the same way his own father Abu "Abbad ibn alAbbas did while he was in the service of 
Fakhr alDawlah's father, Rukn alDawlah. 

When, at the age of 59, asSahib died on Thursday night, 24th of Safar, 385, in Rayy, the city 
of Rayy closed down its shops as a sign of mourning, and people gathered in front of his 
mansion awaiting his coffin. Fakhr alDawlah, accompanied by government ministers and 
commanders of the army, went there, too, wearing mourning clothes. When his coffin came 
out of his house, people cried "Allahu Akbar!" in unison, kissed the ground in glorification, 
and Fakhr alDawlah followed the coffin on foot with the crowd and sat with them during the 
three days' mourning period. Poets read eulogies, and scholars held commemorative 
ceremonies in his honour, and he was praised by all those who could not attend his funeral. 
Abu Bakr alKhawarizmi said: "AlSahib ibn 'Abbad grew up in the ministry's lap, learned 
how to crawl and walk within its precincts, was nursed from the most excellent of its 
bosoms, and inherited it [ministry] from his own forefathers." Abu Sa'id alRustami 
composed these verses in his praise: 

He inherited ministry: a link in a chain, 

A great man, he was, heir of great men. 

About the ministry of al-Abbas does 'Abbad narrate, 

While from 'Abbad does Isma'il Narrate. 

In his biography of Sahib, alTha' alibi says: "I can find no words to fairly describe Sahib's 
lofty status in knowledge and arts, or the prestige he enjoys for being benevolent and 
generous, or his unique virtues and possession of various merits. The best statement I can 
make on his behalf falls short of doing justice to the least among his virtues and eminence, 
and my best description falls short of being fair to his virtues and characteristics." Sahib has 
written many precious books including AlMuhit in Language in seven volumes; its chapters 
are arranged alphabetically. He collected an unmatched library. Nuh ibn alMansur, one of 
the kings of Sam' an, wrote to him once to invite him to be in charge of running his cabinet 
of ministers and managing the affairs of his kingdom. He apologized to him, saying that he 
needed four hundred camels just to transport the contents of his library. This much about 
him should suffice. 

8. IsmaMl ibn "AbdulRahman ibn Abu Karimah alKufi 

Better known as al-Sadi, he is the renown interpreter of the Holy Qur'an. Stating his 
biography, alThahbi describes him as "charged with Shi'ism." Husayn ibn Waqid alMaruzi 
discusses him, claiming that he heard him once cursing Abu Bakr and 'Umer. In spite of all 
these charges, he is quoted by alThawri and Abu Bakr ibn 'Ayyash and many in such class 
of writers. Muslim and authors of the four sahih books consider him an authority, while 

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Ahmed grants him his full confidence. Ibn 'Adi says that he is truthful. Yahya alQattan says 
there is nothing wrong with the ahadith he narrates. Yahya ibn Sa'id says: "I never heard 
anyone speaking ill of alSadi; none has deserted him." Ibrahim alNakh'i once passed by al- 
Sadi while the latter was interpreting the Holy Qur'an. Ibrahim said that alSadi was 
interpreting the Holy Qur'an according to the commonly used methods. If you read about al- 
Sadi in Mizan al-V tidal, you will find more details about what we have stated above. Refer 
to alSadi's hadith in Muslim's Sahih from Anas ibn Malik, Sa'd ibn 'Ubaydah, and Yahya 
ibn 'Abbad. Abu 'Awanah, alThawri, alHasan ibn Salih, Za'idah, and Isra'il have all quoted 
him, being their mentor, as stated in the four sahih books. He died in 127 A.H. 

9. IsmaMl ibn Musa alFazari alKufi 

AlThahbi's Al-Mizan quotes Ibn 'Uday saying, "People despised his extremist Shi' a views." 
Al-Mizan also quotes 'Abdan saying: "Hammad and Ibn Abu Shaybah opposed our visiting 
him." He asked him once how he fared with "that immoral who curses our ancestors." In 
spite of all of this, both Ibn Khuzaymah and Abu 'Arubah quote him, being the instructor of 
their class. He is in the same category with Abu Dawud and al-Tirmithi who quote him and 
rely on his authority in their sahihs. Abu Hatim mentions him and calls him "trustworthy." 
Al-Nisa'i says "he is alright." All of this is stated in the man's biography in al-Thahbi's Al- 
Mizan. 

Refer to his hadith in al-Tirmithi's Sahih and Abu Dawud's Sunan as narrated by Malik, 
Sharik, and 'Umar ibn Shakir, a friend of Anas. He died in 245. He was a son of alSadi's 
daughter, although he might have denied that, and Allah knows best. 

10. Talid ibn Sulayman alKufi, alA'raj 

Ibn Ma'in mentioned him and said: "He used to curse 'Uthman. Some of 'Uthman's 
followers heard that. They threw a rock at him which broke his leg, hence his nickname "al- 
A'raj," the lame. Abu Dawud has mentioned him and said he is Rafidi who curses Abu Bakr 
and 'Uthman. In spite of all of this, Ahmed and Ibn Namir rely on his authority despite their 
knowledge of his Shi' a beliefs. Ahmed has said, "Talid is a Shi' a, yet we could not find 
anything wrong with what he narrated." AlThahbi has mentioned him in his book Al-Mizan, 
quoting statements about him made by learned men as stated above. He puts al-Tirmithi's 
initials on his name to indicate that the latter considers him an authority. Refer to his hadith 
in al-Tirmithi's Sahih through 'Ata ibn alSa'ib and 'AbdelMalik ibn 'Umayr. 

11. Thabit ibn Dinar 

Thabit is better known as Abu Hamzah alThamali. His being Shi' a is as clear as the sun. 
Author of Al-Mizan mentions him, stating that the name of 'Uthman was mentioned once in 
Abu Hamzah's presence. The latter sarcastically asked: "Who is 'Uthman?!" It also states 
that alSulaymani includes Abu Hamzah among the Rafidis. AlThahbi puts al-Tirmithi's 
initials on Abu Hamzah's name as an indication of his being an authority. Waki' and Abu 
Na'im quote him and use him as their authority. Refer to his hadith in al-Tirmithi's sahih 
through Anas and alSha'bi and others of the same calibre. He died, may Allah have mercy 
on his soul, in 150 A.H. 

12. Thuwayr ibn Abu Fakhita 



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Al-Muraja'at 67 
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He is better known as Abu Jahm alKufi, a freed slave of Ummu Hani', daughter of Abu 
Talib. Al-Thahbi has mentioned him in his Al-Mizan and quoted Yunus ibn Abu Ishaq's 
allegation that he was Rafidi. Nevertheless, both Sufyan and Smfbah have quoted him, and 
al-Tirmithi has produced some of his ahadith in his own Sahih through the authority of Ibn 
v Umer and Zayd ibn Arqam. During the time of Imam al-Baqir (as), he maintained his 
loyalty to the Imam, and he came to be known as such. In this regard, he made quite a few 
interesting dialogues with v Amr ibn Tharr, the judge, his contemporary Ibn Qays, and al-Salt 
ibn Bahram testifying to this fact. 

13. Jabir ibn Yazid ibn al-Harith al-Ju'fi al-Kufi 

Al-Thahbi has narrated his biography in his own Al-Mizan, describing him as one of the 
Shfa ^ulema. He has quoted Sufyan saying that he heard Jabir saying that the knowledge 
with the Prophet (pbuh) was transferred to 'Ali (as), then to al-Hasan (as), and so on till it 
reached Imam JaTer al-Sadiq (as), who was one of his contemporaries. Muslim has 
mentioned him in one of the first chapters of his Sahih, quoting al-Jarrah who has heard 
Jabir saying that he knew seventy thousand ahadith of the Prophet all narrated through the 
authority of the father of Imam JaTer al-Sadiq (as) (i.e. Imam Muhammad al-Baqir, peace be 
upon him). He has also quoted Zuhayr saying, "I know fifty thousand ahadith none of which 
I have narrated yet." 

One day, he quoted one hadith and said, "This is one of the fifty thousand ahadith." 
According to his biography in al-Thahbi's Al-Mizan, whenever Jabir narrated hadith through 
al-Baqir (as), he says: "The successor of the successors of the Prophet related to me that..." 
In his biography in the Al-Mizan, Ibn 'Uday says: "Commoners alleged that he [Jabir] used 
to believe in the return." 

Relying on the authority of Za'idah, al-Thahbi has included his biography in his Al-Mizan 
and said: "Jabir al-JuTi is a Rafidi who curses..." In spite of that, both al-Nisa'i and Abu 
Dawud rely on his authority. Refer to the hadith which he narrates concerning accidental 
prostrations in both sahihs. Shihab, Abu 'Awanah, and many of their calibre, quote him. Al- 
Thahbi, who mentions him in his Al-Mizan, has put the initials of both Abu Dawud and al- 
Tirmithi on his name to indicate their reliance on his authority. He also quotes Sufyan saying 
that Jabir al-JuTi is God-fearing while narrating hadith, and that he has said: "I have never 
seen anyone more pious than him [Jabir]." He also quotes Shu'bah saying that Jabir is 
truthful, and "Whenever Jabir narrated hadith, we listened, since he is the most trustworthy 
of all men." Wakf used to say, "If doubt entertains your mind, you may doubt anyone other 
than Jabir al-JuTi," and that Ibn 'Abd al-Hakam heard al-Shaffi once saying that Sufyan al- 
Thawri said once to Shu" bah: "If you ever cast doubt about Jabir, that will signal the end of 
our friendship." Jabir died in either 127 or 128 Hij., may Allah have mercy on his soul. 

14. Jarir ibn "Abdel-Hamid al-Dabi al-Kufi 

In his work Al-Ma^arif, Ibn Qutaybah includes him among Shi" a dignitaries, while al-Thahbi 
mentions him in Al-Mizan, marking his name to denote the consensus of the sahihs in 
relying on his authority. He has praised him saying: "He is the learned man of the Rayy on 
whose authority many authors rely," testifying to the consensus of opinion regarding his 
reliability. Refer to his hadith in Bukhari's and Muslim's Sahihs narrated through A' mash, 
Mughirah, Mansur, Isma'il ibn Abu Khalid and Abu Ishaq al-Shaybani. Qutaybah ibn Sa"id, 
Yahya ibn Yahya and "Uthman ibn Abu Shaybah have all quoted his ahadith as stated in 



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Al-Muraja'at 68 
Shi'i-Sunni dialogue 

both sahihs. He died, may Allah rest his soul in peace, in Rayy in 187 Hij. at the age of 77. 

15. Ja'fer ibn Ziyad al-Ahmar al-Kufi 

Abu Dawud has mentioned him saying: "He is a truthful Shi v a." Al-Jawzjani has said: "He 
has deviated from the path," meaning from al-Jawzjani's path to that of the Prophet's 
Progeny (as). Ibn v Adi has described him as a pious Shfa. His grandson al-Husayn ibn 'Ali 
ibn JaTer ibn Ziyad has said: "My grandfather JaTer was one of the chiefs of Shfas in 
Khurasan." Abu Ja v fer al-Dawaniqi ordered collars [31 to be put around his neck and the 
necks of a group of other Shi' as and be pulled like dogs; then he kept all of them in 
dungeons for quite a long time. Ibn 'Ayinah, Waki\ Abu Ghassan al-Mahdi, Yahya ibn 
Bishr al-Hariri and Ibn Mahdi have all quoted his ahadith, being their mentor. Ibn Ma' in and 
others have considered him an authority on the Prophet's hadith. Ahmed describes his hadith 
as "sahih" authentic, accurate. Al-Thahbi has mentioned him in his Al-Mizan and narrated 
what is stated above, putting the initials of both al-Tirmithi and al-Nisa'i on his name as an 
indication of both men's reliance on him. Refer to his hadith as they quote it in their sahihs 
through Bayan ibn Bishr and v Ata' ibn al-Sa'ib. He is quoted through other men of the same 
calibre. He died, may Allah have mercy on his soul, in 167 Hij. 

16. Ja'fer ibn Sulayman al-DabM al-Basri (Abu Sulayman) 

On page 206 of his Maarif, Ibn Qutaybah includes him among Shfa dignitaries. Ibn Sa v d 
has mentioned him and emphasized his being a Shfa and a trustworthy narrator of hadith. 
Ahmed ibn al-Miqdam has charged him of being "Rafidi." Ibn v Adi has mentioned him 
saying: "He is a Shi' a. There is nothing wrong with his narration; his ahadith are by no 
means refutable, and I consider him as one whose hadith is acceptable." Abu Talib has said: 
"I have heard Ahmed saying that there is nothing wrong with the ahadith narrated by JaTer 
ibn Sulayman al-Dab v i." It was said to Ahmed, "But Sulayman ibn Harb says that he did not 
write down al-DabTs ahadith." Ahmed replied by saying that Ibn Harb did not object that 
anyone should write down al-DabTs ahadith, and that [ibn Harb's prejudice was simply 
because] al-Dab v i was a Shfa who quoted ahadith regarding 'Ali [ibn Abu Talib]." Ibn 
Ma" in has said: "I have heard certain talk from v Abdul-Razzaq which testified to the man's 
"sectarian beliefs." I said to him: "Your mentors, such as Mu'ammar, Ibn Jurayh, al-Awza v i, 
Malik, and Sufyan, are all Sunnis. Where did you learn this [Shi'a] sect from?" He 
answered: "One day, Ja v fer ibn Sulayman al-Dab v i visited us, and I saw him to be virtuous, 
pious, and from him did I learn this sect." I guess Muhammad ibn Abu Bakr al-Muqaddami 
saw contratiwise! He openly used to say that JaTer learned "Rafidism" from 'Abdul-Razzaq; 
therefore, he used to curse the latter and say: "Nobody corrupted JaTer's beliefs other than 
he fAbdul-Razzaq]." 

Quoting Sahl ibn Abu Khadouthah, al-Aqili has said: "I said to JaTer ibn Sulayman: I have 
heard that you curse Abu Bakr and 'Umer.' He replied: "Cursing I do not; but hating, you 
can say whatever you will.'" 

Relying on Jarir ibn Yazid ibn Harun, Ibn Haban has said in his Thiqat, "My father sent me 
once to Abu JaTer al-Dab v i. I said to the latter: 'I have heard that you curse Abu Bakr and 
v Umer.' He replied: V I do not curse them. But if you want to say that I despise them, feel 
free;' therefore, I concluded that he was Rafidi." 

In his biography of JaTer in Al-Mizan, al-Thahbi has included all the above and emphasized 
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as well the fact that the man was a pious 'alim "in spite of being a Shi' a." Muslim relies on 
him in his Sahih and quotes some of his unique ahadith which are published nowhere else as 
al-Thahbi himself testifies when he narrates Ja'fer's biography. Refer to his hadith in the 
sahih narrated through Thabit al-Banani, al-Ja'd ibn 'Uthman, Abu 'Umran al-Jawni, Yazid 
ibn al-Rashk and Sa'id al-Jariri. Qatan ibn Nasir, Yahya ibn Yahya, Qutaybah, Muhammad 
ibn 'Ubayd ibn Hasab, Ibn Mahdi and Musaddid have all quoted his ahadith. For example, 
he has said: "The Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his progeny, dispatched a 
division of the Muslim army under 'Ali's command, etc." Another hadith he has narrated 
states: "What do you want of 'Ali? 'Ali is of me, and I am of him. He is the wall (master) 
after me of every believer," as quoted in al-Nisa'i's Sahih and transmitted through Ibn 'Adi 
from al-Nisa'i. Al-Thahbi has stated the above while discussing Ja'fer in his Al-Mizan. He 
died in Rajab of 178 Hij.; may Allah be merciful unto him. 

17. JamP ibn 'Umayrah ibn ThaMabah al-Kufi al-Taymi (Taymullah) 

Abu Hatim has mentioned his biography in his own Al-Mizan at the conclusion of which he 
states: "Al-Kufi is one of the Shi' a nobility whose hadith is authentically narrated." Ibn 
Haban has mentioned him and stated, as indicated in Al-Mizan, that he is "Rafidi." I say that 
al-'Ala' ibn Salih, Sadaqah ibn al-Muthanna, and Hakim ibn Jubayr have all derived their 
knowledge from him, being their mentor. 

The Sunan books quote him thrice. Al-Tirmithi has acclaimed his hadith, as al-Thahbi's Al- 
Mizan testifies. He is one of the tabVin. He learned hadith from Ibn 'Umer and 'Ayesha. 
One of the ahadith which he learned from Ibn 'Umer states that the latter heard the 
Messenger of Allah addressing 'Ali thus: "You are my brother in this life and the life 
hereafter." 

18. Al-Harith ibn Hasirah Abul Nu'man al-Azdi al-Kufi 

Abu Hatim al-Razi describes him as one of the Shi' a nobility. Abu Ahmed al-Zubayri has 
attributed to him the belief in the return. Ibn 'Adi mentions him saying: "His hadith is 
written down in spite of the weakness I have seen therein. He is one of the Kufis who will be 
burned in the Fire because of their Shi'ism." Thanij has said: "I once asked Jarir: 'Have you 
met al-Harith ibn Hasirah?' He answered, 'Yes, indeed, I have. I met him as an old man who 
used to stay silent most of the time, and he insisted on something quite magnanimous.'" 
Yahya ibn Ma' in has mentioned him and said: "He is trustworthy [though] Khashbi [one of 
the derogatory names downgrading Shi' as, tr.]." Al-Nisa'i, too, trusts him. Al-Thawri, Malik 
ibn Maghul, 'Abdullah ibn Namir, and a group of their calibre, have all quoted him, since he 
was their mentor in whom they put their trust. 

Al-Thahbi has narrated his biography in his Al-Mizan stating all the above. Refer to his 
hadith in the Sunan through Zayd ibn Wahab, 'Ikrimah, and a group of their class. Al-Nisa'i 
quotes 'Abbad ibn Ya'qub al-Rawajni who quotes a chain of narrators including 'Abdullah 
ibn 'Abdul-Malik al-Mas'udi that al-Harith ibn Hasirah, according to Zayd ibn Wahab, 
reported that 'Ali (as) was heard once saying: "I am the servant of Allah and the brother of 
His Messenger; nobody else can say so except a liar." 

Al-Harith ibn Hasirah narrates through Abu Dawud al-Subai'i, through 'Umran ibn Hasin, 
saying: "I was sitting once in the presence of the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and 
his progeny, with 'Ali sitting beside him. The Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and 



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his progeny, recited 'Or who else [other than Allah] that would respond to the one in dire 
need for help, remove his distress, and make ye vicegerents on earth?' "Ali was shaken and 
moved a great deal; thereupon, the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his progeny, 
patted "Ali's shoulder and said: "Nobody loves you except a true believer [a mu'min], and 
nobody hates you except a hypocrite till the Day of Judgment.'" 

Traditionists such as Muhammad ibn Kuthayyir and others have quoted the hadith cited 
above from Al-Harith ibn Hasirah. Al-Thahbi has transmitted it while stating the biography 
of Nafi" ibn al-Harith through the same chain of narrators. When he comes to Al-Harith ibn 
Hasirah, he comments saying, "He is truthful; but he is also Rafidi." 

19. Al-Harith ibn "Abdullah al-Hamadani 

He was one of the close friends of the Commander of the Faithful (as) and one of the best 
tabi'in. His being a Shi" a needs no proof. He is the first of those counted by Ibn Qutaybah in 
his McCarif as Shi" a dignitaries. Al-Thahbi has mentioned him in his Al-Mizan, admitting 
that he was one of the most highly recognized ^ulema among the tabPin; then he quotes Ibn 
Haban's statement saying that he was "extremist" in his Shi" a beliefs. After that, he states a 
great deal about some people's anger with him because of his Shi" a beliefs. In spite of all 
this, he also records their consensus that the man is the most knowledgeable, pious, and best 
informed about rituals. He has also admitted that the ahadith narrated by al-Harith are in 
existence in the four books of sunan. He declares the fact that Nisa'i, in spite of his 
prejudice, has strongly relied on the authority of al-Harith, admitting that the public, in spite 
of belittling the man, kept quoting his ahadith in all religious matters, and that al-Sha"bi 
called him a liar, then he turned around and quoted him! 

Al-Thahbi states the following in his Al-Mizan: "Obviously, al-Nisa'i falsifies him when it 
comes to the latter's tone and tale; but when the man narrates hadith, he does not disbelieve 
in him." Al-Mizan quotes Muhammad ibn Sirin saying: "There were five well-known 
companions of Ibn Mas"ud. I came to know four of them, but I missed al-Harith whom I 
never saw. He was the best among them." 

A great deal of controversy exists regarding which of the other three, namely Alqamah, 
Masruq, or "Ubaydah, is the best. I say that Allah has enabled trustworthy traditionists to do 
justice to al-Sha"bi and prove him a liar. This has been pointed out by Ibn "Abd al-Birr in his 
book Jami'^ Bayanul ^Ilm which quotes the frank statement made by Ibrahim al-Nakh"i 
belying al-Sha"bi, adding verbatim: "I think that al-Sha"bi has received his fair punishment 
for saying the following about al-Harith al-Hamadani: "Al-Harith, one of the liars, informed 
me that..., etc. '"[41 Ibn "Abd al-Birr has said: "Al-Harith has shown no indication of being a 
liar; some people have borne grudge against him simply because he loved "Ali so much and 
preferred him over others. This is the reason why al-Sha"bi has called him a liar, since al- 
Sha"bi favours Abu Bakr, stating that the latter was the first to embrace Islam, and he 
favours "Umer, too." 

Among those who bore grudge against al-Harith was Muhammad Ibn Sa"d who included al- 
Harith's biography in Volume 6 of his Tabaqat, saying that al-Harith speaks "maliciously." 
He does not do al-Harith, nor any other Shi" a notable, any justice even when it comes to 
knowledge or feats. The "malicious" talk Ibn Sa"d is referring to is nothing other than 
allegiance to Muhammad's progeny and his taking them for guides in all matters, as Ibn 
"Abd al-Birr has admitted in his above-quoted statement. Al-Harith's demise took place in 65 



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Hij.; may Allah have mercy on his soul. 

20. Habib ibn Abu Thabit al-Asadi al-Kahili al-Kufi 

He was one of the taWin. Qutaybah, in his Maarif, and Shahristani, in his Al-Milal wal 
Nihal, have both included him among Shi' a dignitaries. Al-Thahbi has mentioned him in his 
Al-Mizan, marking his name with the indication that authors of the six sahihs rely on his 
authority without any hesitation. Yahya Ibn Ma' in and a group of other scholars have all 
trusted him. 

Al-Dawalibi, however, has spoken ill of him and classified his traditions as "weak" just 
because of his being a Shi'a. What truly amazes me is the attitude of Ibn 'Awn who was 
unable to find any pretext to cast doubt about Habib's traditions, in spite of his ardent desire 
to do so; therefore, he had to look down at him and call him "a' war," one-eyed. One's real 
handicap is sinning and speaking ill of others, not in losing an eye. 

Refer to Habib's traditions in Bukhari's and Muslim's Sahihs as narrated through Sa'id ibn 
Jubayr and Abu Wa'il. His hadith narrated through Zayd ibn Wahab is recorded only in 
Bukhari's Sahih. In Muslim's Sahih, his hadith is narrated through Muhammad ibn 'Ali ibn 
'Abdullah ibn 'Abbas, and through Tawus, al-Dahhak al-Mashriqi, Abu 'Abbas ibn al- 
Sha'ir, Abu al-Minhal 'Abdul-Rahman, 'Ata' ibn Yasin, Ibrahim ibn Sa'd ibn Abu Waqqas, 
and through Mujahid. In both sahihs, Misar, al-Thawri, and Shu'bah have quoted his 
traditions. In Muslim's Sahih, his ahadith are quoted by Sulayman al-A'mash, Hasin, 
'Abdul-' Aziz ibn Sayah and Abu Ishaq al-Shaybani. He died, may Allah have mercy on his 
soul, in 119 Hij. 

21. Al-Hasan ibn Hayy 

Hayy's full name is Salih ibn Salih al-Hamadani, brother of 'Ali ibn Salih. Both men, who 
were born twins, are on the top of the list of Shi'a nobility. 'Ali was born only one hour 
earlier. Nobody has ever heard his brother calling him by his first name; instead, he used to 
always refer to him as "Abu Muhammad." This has been mentioned in Vol. 6 of Ibn Sa'd's 
Tabaqat, in the chapter dealing with al-Hasan. The author states: "Al-Hasan was one of the 
dignitaries, but he is inflicted with Shi'ism. He did not participate in the Jum'a prayers, and 
he preached denunciation of unjust rulers." He also mentions the fact that the man never 
invoked Allah's mercy on 'Uthman. 

Ibn Sa'd has mentioned him in Vol. 6 of his Tabaqat, saying, "He is trustworthy; he narrates 
many ahadith, and he is a Shi'a." Imam Ibn Qutaybah has included his name among other 
narrators of hadith in his Ma^arif, highlighting his being a Shi'a. At the conclusion of his 
book, he lists al-Hasan among such narrators. Muslim and authors of the sunan books have 
all relied on his authority. Refer to his hadith in Muslim's Sahih as narrated by Sammak ibn 
Harb, Isma'il al-Sadi, 'Asim al-Ahwal, and Harun ibn Sa'd. 'Ubaydullah ibn Musa al- 
'Abasi, Yahya ibn Adam, Hamid ibn 'Abdul-Rahman al-Rawasi, 'Ali ibn al-Ja'd, Ahmed 
ibn Yunus and all renown men of their intellectual calibre have learned hadith from him. 

In his biography in Al-Mizan, al-Thahbi indicates that Ibn Ma' in and others have trusted his 
[al-Hasan's] hadith. He adds saying that 'Abdullah ibn Ahmed has quoted his father saying 
that al-Hasan is more authentic than Sharik. Al-Thahbi also states that Abu Hatim has said: 
"He is a trust; he has a sound and authentic memory," and that Abu Zar'ah has said: "He has 

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combined in him accomplishment, fiqh, piety, and asceticism," and that Nisa'i has trusted 
him. He also quotes Abu Na"im saying: "I have quoted eight hundred traditionists; I have 
found none better than al-Hasan ibn Salih," and that he has also said: "I have come across 
nobody who did not err other than al-Hasan ibn Salih." He quotes "Ubaydah ibn Sulayman 
saying: "Allah is too shy to harm al-Hasan ibn Salih." He quotes Yahya ibn "Ali Bakir 
asking al-Hasan ibn Salih: "Describe to us how to conduct the ceremonial bathing of the 
deceased;" he could not do so because of being overcome by tears. He quotes "Ubaydullah 
ibn Musa saying: "I used to recite the holy Qur'an in the presence of "Ali ibn Salih. Having 
finished reciting "Exercise patience [O Muhammad]!; We have granted them a respite only 
for an appointed time,' his brother fell down snorting like a wounded bull; so, "Ali lifted him 
up, wiped and washed his face then supported him against falling again," and that Waki" has 
said: "Al-Hasan and "Ali sons of Salih and their mother divided night-time among them into 
three parts: each alternates in his portion thereof in keeping vigil, spending it in prayers and 
adoration. When their mother died, they split it into equal halves. Then "Ali died; therefore, 
al-Hasan used to stay all night long worshipping." 

Abu Sulayman al-Darani has said: "I have never seen anyone more awe-stricken than al- 
Hasan son of Salih who stood up one night to recite Chaper 78 of the Holy Qur'an and 
fainted yet continued reciting till dawn." He was born, may Allah have mercy upon him, in 
100 Hij. and he died in 169. 

22. Al-Hakam ibn "Utaybah al-Kufi 

Ibn Qutaybah has indicated the fact that al-Hakam ibn "Utaybah was a Shi" a in his Maarif 
and included him among Shi" a nobility. Both Bukhari and Muslim rely on his authority. 
Refer to his hadith in their sahihs as narrated by Abu Jahifah, Ibrahim al-Nakh"i, Mujahid, 
and Sa"id ibn Jubayr. In Muslim's Sahih, it is narrated by "Abdul-Rahman ibn Abu Layla, al- 
Qasim ibn Mukhaymarah, Abu Salih, Tharr ibn "Abdullah, Sa"id ibn "Abdul-Rahman ibn 
"Abzi, Yahya al-Jazzar, Nafi" (a slave of Ibn "Umer), "Ata' ibn Abu Rabah, "Imarah ibn 
"Umayr, "Arrak ibn Malik, al-Sha"bi, Maymun ibn Mahran, al-Hasan al-"Arni, Mus"ab ibn 
Sa"d and "Ali ibn al-Husayn. 

In both sahihs, his ahadith are quoted by Mansur, Misar and Shu"bah. Particularly in 
Bukhari's Sahih, his ahadith are narrated by "Abdul-Malik ibn Abu Ghaniya. In Muslim's 
Sahih, his ahadith are narrated by al-A"mash, "Amr ibn Qays, Zayd ibn Abu Anisa, Malik 
ibn al-Maghul; Aban ibn Taghlib, Hamzah al-Zayyat, Muhammad ibn Jehada, Mutraf and 
Abu "Awanah. He died in 115 Hij. at the age of 65. 

23. Hammad ibn "Isa al-Jehni 

He drowned at Juhfa. Abu "Ali has mentioned him in his book Muntahal Maqal. Al-Hasan 
ibn "Ali ibn Dawud abridged the said article in his own concise Mukhtasar, in a chapter 
dealing with biographies of notables, a group of Shi" a ^ulema and authors of biographies and 
dictionaries who regard him as most trustworthy, a follower of the rightly-guided Imams, 
peace be upon them. He learned from Imam al-Sadiq, peace be upon him, seventy ahadith by 
the holy Prophet, peace be upon him and his progeny, but he did not relate more than twenty 
of them. He has authored a few books with which followers of our faith are familiar. 

Once he entered in the presence of Imam Abul-Hasan al-Kazim, peace be upon him, and 
said: "May my life be sacrificed for you! Please pray Allah to bless me with a house, a wife, 



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Al-Muraja'at 73 
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a son, a servant, and a pilgrimage every year." The Imam said: "Lord! I invoke Thee to send 
blessings unto Muhammad and the progeny of Muhammad, and to bless this man with a 
house, a wife, a son, a servant, and a pilgrimage for fifty years each." Hammad said: "When 
he prayed for my performing the pilgrimage fifty times, I became sure I would never live 
beyond that. I have performed the annual pilgrimage forty-eight times; this is my house with 
which Allah has blessed me; yonder there is my wife behind the curtain listening to me; this 
is my son, and this is my servant; I have been blessed with all of these." 

Two years later, and having performed the pilgrimage fifty times, he accompanied Abul 
'Abbas al-Nawfali al-Qasir on his fifty-first pilgrimage. When he reached the place where 
pilgrims put on the ihram garb, he entered the Johfa river for a bath, but the torrent 
overwhelmed him, and he drowned before being able to perform his 51st pilgrimage. His 
death, may Allah have mercy on his soul, took place in 209 Hij. His birth-place is Kufa, but 
he resided in Basrah. He lived over seventy years. We have conducted a thorough research 
of his biography in our book Mukhtasar al-Kalam fi Mu'allifi al-ShVa min Sadr al-Islam [A 
Brief Discourse of Shi' a Authors of Early Islam]. 

Al-Thahbi has mentioned him and put "TQ" on his name as a reference to those among the 
authors of the Sunan who have quoted him [Tirmithi] and Dar Qutni, and mentioned the fact 
that he drowned in 208 Hij., and that he narrated hadith through Imam al-Sadiq (as). The 
author has shown his grudge towards this man, calling his hadith "weak" for no reason other 
than his beliefs being Shi' a. Strange enough, Dar Qutni calls his hadith "weak" on one hand, 
while on the other he uses him as an authority in his own Sunan - thus indeed do some 
people behave! 

24. Hamran ibn 'Ayinah 

He is brother of Zurarah. Both men were among the most reliable Shi' as, custodians of the 
sharPa, oceans of the knowledge about Muhammad's progeny (as). They were lanterns that 
shone in the dark and pillars of guidance. They frequented Imams al-Baqir and al-Sdiq (as) 
and enjoyed a lofty status in the eyes of the Imams among the Prophet's descendants. Al- 
Thahbi mentions Hamran in his Al-Mizan, marking his name with Q to indicate who among 
the compilers of the sunan relies upon his authority [i.e. Dar Qutni. Then al-Thahbi adds: 
"He has narrated hadith from Abul Tufayl and others. Hamzah has recited the holy Qur'an to 
him, and he himself is used to recite it with perfect accuracy." Ibn Ma' in considers his hadith 
"negligible," while Abu Hatim hails him as a mentor. Yet Abu Dawud labels him "Rafidi." 

25. Khalid ibn Mukhlid al-Qatwani 

Also known as Abul-Haytham al-Kufi, he is one of Bukhari's mentors, as the latter states in 
his Sahih. Ibn Sa'd mentions him on page 283, Vol. 6, of his Tabaqat, saying, "He was a 
staunch Shi'a. He died in Kufa in mid-Muharram of 213 A.H. during the reign of al- 
Ma'mun. He was extremist in his Shi'a beliefs, and writers have documented this fact." 

Abu Dawud mentions him saying: "He is truthful; but he follows Shi'ism." Al-Jawzjani says 
the following about him: "He never ceases denouncing [certain persons], publicly 
propagating his corrupt sect." Al-Thahbi narrates his biography in his own Al-Mizan, 
quoting the views of both Abu Dawud and Jawzjani stated above. Yet both Bukhari and 
Muslim have relied upon his authority in several chapters of their respective sahihs. Refer to 
his hadith as in Bukhari's Sahih as narrated from al-Mughirah ibn 'Abdul-Rahman, and in 



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Muslim's Sahih by Muhammad ibn JaTer ibn Abul Kathir, Malik ibn Anas, and Muhammad 
ibn Musa. Both sahihs quote his Al-Mizan from Sulayman ibn Bilal and 'Ali ibn Mushir. Al- 
Bukhari quotes his hadith in several places of his Sahih, without referring to any chain of 
narrators, quoting two of his ahadith from Muhammad ibn 'Uthman ibn Karamah. Muslim 
narrates his hadith as transmitted by Abu Karib, Ahmed ibn v Uthman al- v Awdi, al-Qasim 
ibn Zakariyyah, v Abd ibn Hamid, Ibn Abu Shaybah, and Muhammad ibn 'Abdullah ibn 
Namir. Authors of the sunan have all relied on the authority of his hadith, while being aware 
of his sect. 

26. Dawud ibn Abu 'Awf (Abul-Hijab) 

Ibn v Adi has mentioned him saying, "I cannot rely upon his authority due to his being a 
Shfa. The majority of the ahadith he narrates are related to the virtues of Ahl al-Bayt." 

Consider with amazement such a statement! No harm, indeed, can reach Dawud from these 
Nasibis since both Sufyans quote his ahadith, in addition to 'Ali ibn 'Abis and others 
belonging to the elite among their peers. Both Abu Dawud and al-Nisa'i have relied upon his 
authority, and so have Ahmed and Yahya. Al-Nisa'i has said the following about him: 
"There is nothing wrong with his ahadith." Abu Hatim has said: "His hadith is sound." Al- 
Thahbi has quoted such testimonies in his Sahih. Refer to his hadith in Abu Dawud's Sunan, 
in al-Nisa'i's through Abu Hazim al-Ashja'i, 'Ikrimah, and others. 

27. Zubayd ibn al-Harith ibn "Abdul-Karim al-Yami al-Kufi 

Also known as Abu 'Abdul-Rahman, he is mentioned in al-Thahbi's Al-Mizan where the 
author says: "He is a trustworthy tabVi who inclines towards Shi'ism." Then he quotes 
statements to prove that Zubayd's hadith has been verified by al-Qattan, and that there are 
other renown critics and verifiers who regard him trustworthy. Abu Ishaq al-Jawzjani has 
included a crude statement about him which is typical of his attitude and that of other 
Nasibis, stating, 

"Among the residents of Kufa, there is a faction whose faith is not appreciated [by Nasibis], 
yet they happen to be masters of hadith. Among them are: Abu Ishaq, Mansur, Zubayd al- 
Yami, al-A'mash and other peers. People have tolerated them for no reason other than their 
truth in narrating hadith, and their narrations testify to the authenticity of one another," 

up to the conclusion of his statement which truth has dictated to him to reveal. Often, truth is 
spoken by the fair-minded just as it is by the stubborn and obstinant. What harm can reach 
these lofty pillars of knowledge, the masters of hadith in Islam, if such a critic does not 
appreciate their holding in high esteem the holy Prophet's kin who are the gates of salvation, 
the protectors of all humans on earth after the Prophet (pbuh) himself, his nation's ark of 
salvation? What harm can befall them from the critic who has no choice except to pursue his 
quest till reaching their door steps, and no option but to beg their own favours? 

If dignitaries of my tribe are pleased with me, 

Then let its villains chafe and be angry. 

These authorities do not pay any attention to al-Jawzjani or others like him, having been 
held trustworthy by the authors of the sahih books and by those of all sunan as well. Refer to 

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Zubayd's hadith in both Bukhari's and Muslim's Sahihs as transmitted by Abu Wa'il, al- 
Sha'bi, Ibrahim al-Nakh'i, and Sa'd ibn 'Ubaydullah. Only Bukhari quotes his hadith 
through Mujahid. In Muslim's Sahih, his hadith is narrated by Murrah al-Hamadani, 
Muharib ibn Dithar, Ammarah ibn 'Umayr, and Ibrahim al-Taymi. His hadith is quoted in 
both sahihs as transmitted by Shu' bah, al-Thawri, and Muhammad ibn Talhah. In Muslim's 
Sahih, his hadith is narrated by Zuhayr ibn Mu'awiyah, Fadil ibn Ghazwan, and Husayn ibn 
al-Nakh'i. He died, may Allah have mercy on his soul, in 124 A.H. 



28. Zayd ibn al-Habab, Abul-Hasan al-Kufi al-Tamimi 

Ibn Qutaybah has included his biography among those whose biographies he has included 
among Shi' a dignitaries in his work Al-Ma^arif. Al-Thahbi has mentioned him in his Al- 
Mizan, describing him as "pious, trustworthy, truthful." He indicates his being vouched as 
trustworthy by Ibn Ma'in and Ibn al-Madini. He has quoted Abu Hatim and Ahmed 
describing him as truthful, adding that 'Adi has said: "He is one of the reliable Kufi 
traditionists whose trustworthiness is never doubted." Muslim has relied on his authority. 
Refer to the latter's sahih containing his hadith as narrated by Mu'awiyah ibn Salih, al- 
Dahhak ibn 'Uthman, Qurrah ibn Khalid, Ibrahim ibn Nafi', Yahya ibn Ayyub, Saif ibn 
Sulayman, Hasan ibn Waqid, 'Ikrimah ibn "Ammar, 'Abdul-' Aziz ibn Abu Salma, and 
'Aflah ibn Sa'id. His hadith is quoted by Ibn Abu Shaybah, Muhammad ibn Hatim, Hasan 
al-Hulwani, Ahmed ibn al-Munthir, Ibn Namir, Ibn Karib, Muhammad ibn Rafi', Zuhair ibn 
Harb, and Muhammad ibn al-Faraj. 

29. Salim ibn Abul Ja'd al-AshjaM al-Kufi 

He is brother of 'Ubayd, Ziyad, 'Umran, and Muslim, sons of Abul-Ja'd. 

In Volume 6 of Al-Tabaqat, Sa'd mentions all of them on page 2303 and the succeeding 
pages. When he comes to Muslim, he says, "Abul-Ja'd begot six sons. Two of them 
followed Shi'ism. These are Salim and 'Ubayd. Two others are Murji'is, while the remaining 
two agree with the Kharijites. Their father used to say: 'What is the matter with you? I 
wonder why Allah has made your views vary so much.'" Ibn Qutaybah has discussed them 
on page 156 of his Ma^arif in a chapter dealing with Shi'a tabCin and their successors. 

A group of learned scholars has testified to the Shi'a views of Salim ibn Abul-Ja'd. 
Qutaybah, on page 206 of his Ma^arif, has included him among Shi'a dignitaries, and so has 
al-Shahristani in his work Al-Milal wal Nihal on page 27, Vol. 2, in the footnote of his 
chapter on Ibn Hazm. Al-Thahbi has mentioned him in his Al-Mizan, calling him a 
trustworthy tabVi. He has also stated that his hadith from al-Nu'man ibn Bashir and Jabir is 
included in both sahihs. In fact, his hadith, from Anas ibn Malik and Karib, is included in 
both sahihs as scholars of hadith already know. Al-Thahbi says that his hadith from 
'Abdullah ibn 'Umer, and from Ibn 'Umer, exists in Bukhari's Sahih. The latter also contains 
his hadith from Ma' dan ibn Abu Talha and the latter's father. His hadith is quoted in both 
sahihs by al-A'mash, Qatadah, 'Amr ibn Murrah, Mansur, and Hasin ibn 'Abdul-Rahman. 
He also knows hadith quoted by al-Nisa'i and Abu Dawud in their respective Sunan. He died 
in either 87 or 97 A.H. during the reign of Sulayman ibn 'Abdul-Malik, or, as some say, 
during that of 'Umer ibn 'Abdul-' Aziz, and Allah knows best. 



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30. Salim ibn Abu Hafsah al-'Ijli al-Kufi 



Al-Shahristani includes him in his book Al-Milal wal-Nihal among Shi'a nobility. Al-Fallas 
says: "He is a weak traditionist who is extremist in his Shi'a beliefs." Ibn 'Adi says: "People 
criticize his extremism; but I hope there is nothing wrong with his hadith." Muhammad ibn 
Bashir al-'Abdi says: "I have seen Salim ibn Abu Hafsah as a fool with a long beard - what a 
beard! He says: 'I wish I had been a partner of ' Ali in everything he possessed.'" 

Al-Husayn ibn 'Ali al-Ju'fi has said: "I have seen Salim ibn Abu Hafsah as a fool with a 
long beard who used to often say, 'Here I come, O killer of Na'thal, annihilater of Banu 
Umayyah!'" "Amr ibn al-Salim ibn Abu Hafsah asked him once: "Did you kill 'Uthman?" 
He answered: "Did I?!" 'Arm said: "Yes, you did. You do not condemn his murder." Abu 
ibn al-Madini has said: "I have heard Jarir saying, "I broke my friendship with Salim ibn 
Abu Hafsah because he used to always defend the Shi' as.'" Al-Thahbi has detailed his 
biography, mentioning all the above. On page 234 of Vol. 6 of his Tabaqat, Ibn Sa'd 
mentions him and says: "He was very staunch in his Shi'a beliefs. He entered Mecca during 
the reign of the 'Abbasides crying, 'Here I come, here I come, O killer of the Omayyads!' 
His voice was quite loud, so much so that his call was heard by Dawud ibn 'Ali who 
inquired: 'Who is this man?' People informed him that it was Salim ibn Abu Hafsah, and 
they explained his story and views." 

Al-Thahbi has included his biography in his Al-Mizan commenting, "He was chief of those 
who belittled Abu Bakr and 'Umer." In spite of this, however, both Sufyans quote his hadith, 
and so does Muhammad ibn Fudayl, while al-Tirmithi has relied on his authority, and Ibn 
Ma' in has held him trustworthy. He died in 137 A.H. 

31. Sa'd ibn Tarif al-Iskafi al-Hanzali al-Kufi 

Al-Thahbi mentions him, marking his name with TQ as a reference to the authors of sunan 
who quote him (i.e. al-Tirmithi and Dar Qutni). Al-Thahbi also quotes al-Fallas saying that 
Sa'd is "weak, extremist in his Shi'a beliefs." In spite of his being a "Shi'a extremist," al- 
Tirmithi and others quote him. Refer to his hadith in al-Tirmithi's Sahih as narrated by 
'Ikrimah and Abul-Wa'il. He also narrates hadith as transmitted by al-Asbagh ibn Nabatah, 
'Uman ibn Talhah and 'Umayr ibn Ma'mun. Isra'il, Haban and Abu Mu'awiyah all quote 
him. 

32. Sa'id ibn Ashwa' 

He is mentioned in al-Thahbi's Al-Mizan where the author says: "Sa'id ibn Ashwa' is a 
famous and truthful Kufi judge. Al-Nisa'i says that there is nothing wrong with his hadith, 
and that he is a friend of al-Sha'bi. Al-Jawzjani describes him as extremist, heretic, and a 
Shi'a zealot." 

Both al-Bukhari and Muslim rely on his authority in their respective sahihs. His hadith from 
al-Sha'bi is regarded as authentic by authors of both sahih books. In both Bukhari's and 
Muslim's Sahihs, his hadith is quoted by Zakariyyah ibn Abu Za'idah and Khalid al-Haththa'. 
He died during the reign of Khalid ibn 'Abdullah. 

33. Sa'id ibn Khaytham al-Hilali 



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Ibrahim ibn 'Abdullah ibn al-Junayd was asked once: "Sa'id ibn Khaytham is a Shi'a. What 
do you think of him?" He answered: "Let's say that he is a Shi'a, but he also is trustworthy." 

Al-Thahbi mentions him in his Al-Mizan, quoting Ibn Ma' in narrating the gist of what has 
just been stated above. He has also marked his name with the initials of both al-Tirmithi and 
al-Nisa'i to indicate that both authors quote his hadith in their sahihs. He also mentions the 
fact that Sa'id narrates hadith from Yazid ibn Abu Ziyad and Muslim al-Malla'i. His 
nephew, Ahmed ibn Rashid, too, narrates his hadith. 



34. Selamah ibn al-Fudayl al-Abrash 

He was a Rayy judge and a reporter of traditions related to the battles in which the holy 
Prophet (pbuh) participated as transmitted by Ibn Ishaq. His kunyat (surname) is Abu 
'Abdullah. In his biography in the Al-Mizan, Ibn Ma' in says: "Selamah al-Abrash al-Razi is 
a believer in Shi'ism and a man whose hadith is [often] quoted, and there is no fault in the 
latter." Abu Zar'ah has also said in the Al-Mizan that the natives of Rayy do not like him 
because of his (religious) views. Actually, their attitude is due to their own views regarding 
all followers of the household of the Prophet (pbuh). 

Al-Thahbi has mentioned him in his Al-Mizan, marking his name with the initials of Abu 
Dawud and al-Tirmithi and saying: "He is well remembered for his prayers and 
supplications." He died in 191 A.H. Ibn Ma'in testifies to the fact that the hadith related to 
the Prophet's military expeditions as narrated by Selamah is more reliable than anyone else's. 
Zanih is quoted as having said that he had heard Selamah al-Abrash saying that he had heard 
hadith related to the expeditions from Ishaq twice, and that he had also written down his 
ahadith as he had done with those of the expeditions. 

35. Selamah ibn Kahil ibn Hasin ibn Kadih ibn Asad al-Hadrami, Abu Yahya 

A group of scholars following the faith of the majority of Muslims, such as Ibn Qutaybah in 
his Ma^arif, who mentions on page 206 his distinction, and al-Shahristani in his Al-Milal 
wal-Nihal, on page 27, Vol. 2, have included him among Shi'a nobility. Authors of the six 
sahihs have all relied on his authority, and so have others. He has learned hadith from men 
like Abu Jahifah, Suwayd ibn Ghaflah, al-Sha'bi, 'Ata' ibn Abu Rabah, all cited in Bukhari 
and Muslim. In Muslim, he quotes hadith from Karib, Tharr ibn 'Abdullah, Bakir ibn al- 
Ashaj, Zayd ibn Ka'b, Sa'id ibn Jubayr, Mujahid, 'Abdullah ibn 'Abdul-Rahman ibn Yazid, 
Abu Selamah ibn 'Abdul-Rahman, Mu'awiyah ibn al-Suwayd, Habib ibn 'Abdullah, and 
Muslim al-Batin. Al-Thawri and Shu'bah have both cited his hadith in these two works, 
while in Bukhari, his hadith is cited by Isma'il ibn Abu Khalid. In Muslim, he is quoted by 
Sa'id ibn Masruq, Aqil ibn Khalid, 'Abdul-Malik ibn Abu Sulayman, 'Ali ibn Salih, Zayd 
ibn 'Abu Anisah, Hammad ibn Selamah, and al-Walid ibn Harb. 

Selamah ibn Kahil died on 'Ashura of 121 A.H. 

36. Sulayman ibn Sa'id al-Khuza'i al-Kufi 

He used to be the supreme head of the Shi' as of Iraq, the arbitrator among them, their 
custodian and advisor. They had all met in his house when they swore the oath of allegiance 

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to Imam Husayn (as). He is the herald of the tawwabin (the penitants) among the Shi' as, 
those who rose to avenge the murder of Imam Husayn (as). They were four thousand strong 
who camped at Nakhila early in Rabi' al-Thani, 65 A.H., then marched towards 'Ubaydullah 
ibn Ziyad and engaged his army at Jazira. They fought fiercely till each and every one of 
them died. Sulayman, too, was martyred at a place called 'Ayn al-Warda after Hasin shot 
him with a deadly arrow. He was 93 years old then. His head and that of al-Musayyab ibn 
Najba were carried as trophies to Marwan ibn al-Hakam. 

His biography is recorded in Vol. 6, Part One, of Ibn Sa'd's Tabaqat, and in the IstCab of 
Ibn 'Abd al-Birr. All those who wrote the stories of the ancestors have recorded his 
biography and praised his virtues, faith and piety. He enjoyed a lofty status, a position of 
honour and dignity among his folks, and his word weighed heavily. He is the one who killed 
Hawshab, the notorious enemy of the Commander of the Faithful, in a duel at Siffin. 
Sulayman was keen to notice that the enemies of Ahl al-Bayt had gone astray. Traditionists 
have sought his audience. The ahadith he narrates about the Prophet (pbuh), the ones which 
he directly reported or those transmitted by Jubayr ibn Mut'im relying on his authority, are 
recorded in both Bukhari's and Muslim's Sahihs. In the latter, he is cited by Abu Ishaq al- 
Subay'i and 'Adi ibn Thabit. Sulyman has narrated ahadith which are not included in either 
sahihs. These include ahadith from the Commander of the Faithful, his son Imam al-Hasan 
al-Mujtaba (as), and Abiy. In works other than these sahihs, his hadith is transmitted by 
Yahya ibn Ya'mur, 'Abdullah ibn Yasar, and by others. 

37. Sulayman ibn Tarkhan al-Taymi al-Basri 

A slave of Qays, the imam, he is one of the most reliable authorities on hadith. Ibn Qutaybah 
has included him among Shi' a dignitaries in his book Al-Ma'arif. Authors of the six sahihs, 
as well as others, have relied on his authority. Refer to his hadith in both sahihs through 
Anas ibn Malik, Abu Majaz, Bakr ibn 'Abdullah, Qatadah, and Abu 'Uthman al-Nahdi. 
Muslim's Sahih quotes his hadith through others. In both sahihs, his hadith is cited by his 
son Mu'tamir, and by Shu' bah and al-Thawri. Another party cites his hadith in Muslim's 
Sahih. He died in 143 A.H. 

38. Sulayman ibn Qarm ibn Ma'ath 

He is also known as Abu Dawud al-Dabi al-Kufi. Ibn Haban mentions him within the text of 
Sulayman's biography in Al-Mizan. Ibh Haban has said, "He is a Rafidi - very much so." 
Nevertheless, Ahmed ibn Hanbal has trusted him. At the conclusion of Sulayman's 
biography as recorded in Al-Mizan, Ibn 'Adi says, "The ahadith narrated by Sulayman ibn 
Qarm are authentic. Moreover, his are by far more reliable than those related by Sulayman 
ibn Arqam." 

Muslim, al-Nisa'i, al-Tirmithi, and Abu Dawud have all cited his ahadith. When al-Thahbi 
mentions him, he puts the initials of these traditionists on his name. Refer to Muslim's Sahih 
where Abul-Jawab's hadith is narrated by Sulayman ibn Qarm from al-A'mash, up to the 
Prophet (pbuh). The said hadith states that the Prophet (pbuh) has said that a man keeps 
company with those whom he loves. In the sunan, his ahadith quote Thabit through Anas 
successively saying that the Prophet (pbuh) has said: "Seeking knowledge is a religious 
obligation upon every Muslim." He quotes al-A'mash from 'Arm ibn Murrah, from 
'Abdullah ibn al-Harith, from Zuhair ibn al-Aqmar, from 'Abdullah ibn 'Umer who says 
that al-Hakam ibn Abul 'As used to keep company with the Prophet (pbuh) and then would 



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go and narrate it [in a twisted manner] to Quraysh; therefore, the Prophet (pbuh) denounced 
his behaviour and all his descendants as well till the Day of Judgment. 

39. Sulayman ibn Mahran al-Kahili al-Kufi al-Asla' 

He is one of the Shfa nobility and a most trusted traditionist. Many a genius among Sunni 
men of knowledge, such as Ibn Qutaybah in his Maarif and al-Shahristani in his Al-Milal 
wal-Nihal, as well as many others, have all included him among Shi' a dignitaries. 

In his biography of Zubayd, al-Jawzjani says the following in his book Al-Mizan: "Among 
the people of Kufa, there are some folks whose sect is not appreciated, yet they are the 
masters of hadith among Kufi traditionists. Among them are: Abu Ishaq, Mansur, Zubayd al- 
Yami, al-A'mash, and other peers. People tolerate them only because they are truthful in 
narrating hadith," up to the end of his statement which clearly exposes his stupidity and 
prejudice. What harm can reach these dignitaries if the Nasibis do not appreciate their 
commitment to discharge the Divine commandment of seeking the Pleasure of Allah through 
remaining faithful to His Prophet's kin and kith? These Nasibis, as a matter of fact, tolerate 
these men not only because they are truthful in narrating hadith, but rather because they are 
indispensable. Had they rejected these men's hadith, the majority of the Prophet's ahadith 
would have then been abandoned, as al-Thahbi himself admits in his Al-Mizan while 
discussing the biography of Aban ibn Taghlib. I think that al-Mughirah's statement: "Abu 
Ishaq and your A v mash have rendered Kufa to destruction" is said due only to these men's 
Shfa beliefs. Other than that, both Abu Ishaq and al-A'mash are oceans of knowledge and 
custodians of the prophetic legacy. 

Al-A v mash has left us many interesting incidents which vividly portray his greatness. One of 
them, for example, is included by Ibn Khallikan in al-A' mash's biograpy in Wafiyyat al- 
A^yan where the author states: 

"Hisham ibn v Abdul-Malik once wrote to al-A v mash saying: "Recount for me "Uthman's 
virtues and v Ali's vices.' Al-A v mash took the letter and tossed it into his she-camel's mouth. 
Then he turned to the messenger and said: "This is my answer.' The messenger, however, 
pleaded to al-A v mash saying that his master had vowed to kill him if he did not return with 
an answer. He also pleaded to al-A" mash's brothers to pressure their brother to write 
something. Finally, he wrote: 'In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful. Had 
'Uthman had all the virtues of the people of the world, they would not have availed you 
aught, and had v Ali had in him all the vices of the people of the world, they would not have 
harmed you in the least; therefore, worry about your own soul, and peace be with you.'" 

Another anecdote is narrated by Ibn 'Abd al-Birr in his chapter on the ^ulema's statements 
evaluating each other's work in his book Jami" Bayanul "Ilm wa Fada'ilih.\5\ The author 
quotes 'AH ibn Khashram saying, "I have heard Abul-Fadl ibn Musa say, V I entered the 
house of al-A'mash once accompanied by Abu Hanifah to visit him during his sickness. Abu 
Hanifah said: v O Abu Muhammad! Had I not feared my visits would be a nuisance to you, I 
would have visited you more often'. Al-A'mash answered, Tou are a nuisance to me even at 
your own home; so, imagine how I feel when I have to look at your face.'" Abul-Fadl 
continues to say that having left the house of al-A"mash, Abu Hanifah said, 'Al-A v mash 
never observed the fast of the month of Ramadan.' Ibn al-Khashram then asked al-Fadl what 
Abu Hanifah meant. Al-Fadl answered, 'Al-A'mash used to observe the suhur during the 
month of Ramadan according to the Prophet's hadith as narrated by Huthayfah al-Yemani.'" 



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In fact, he used to observe the Holy Qur'anic verse: "Therefore, eat and drink till you can 
distinguish the white thread from the black one, from the dawn, and complete the fast till 
night-time." 

Authors of Al-Wajiza and Bihar Al- Anwar have both quoted Hasan ibn Sa"id al-Nakh"i who 
quotes Sharik ibn "Abdullah, the judge, saying, "I visited al-A"mash when he was sick prior 
to his demise. While I was there, Ibn Shabramah, Ibn Layla and Abu Hanifah entered and 
inquired about his health. He told them that he was suffering from an acute feebleness, that 
he feared God for his sins, and he almost broke in tears. Abu Hanifah then said to him: "0 
Father of Muhammad! Fear Allah! Look now after yourself. You used to narrate certain 
ahadith about "Ali which, if you denounce, would be better for you.' Al-A"mash answered: 
"Do you dare to say this to a man like me?' He even denounced him, and there is no need 
here to go into that. He was, may Allah have mercy on his soul, as al-Thahbi describes him 
in his Al-Mizan, a trusted Imam. He was exactly what Ibn Khallikan had described while 
discussing his biography in his own Wafiyyat al-A^yan, a trustworthy and virtuous man of 
knowledge. Scholars have all conceded his truthfulness, equity and piety. Authors of the six 
sahih books, as well as many others besides them, have all relied on his authority. Refer to 
his hadith in Bukhari's and Muslim's Sahih books from Zayd ibn Wahab, Sa"id ibn Jubayr, 
Muslim al-Batin, al-Sha"bi, Mujahid, Abu Wa'il, Ibrahim al-Nakh"i and Abu Salih Thakwan. 
He is cited in these works by Shu"bah, al-Thawri, Ibn "Ainah, Abu Mua"awiyah 
Muhammad, Abu "Awanah, Jarir, and Hafs ibn Ghiyath. Al-A"mash was born in 61 A.H. 
and he died in 148 A.H., may Allah be merciful unto him. 

40. Sharik ibn "Abdullah ibn Sinan al-NakhM al-Kufi, the judge 

Imam Abu Qutaybah, in his Ma^arif, has unreservedly included him among Shi" a nobility. 
At the conclusion of Sharik's biography as recorded in Al-Mizan, "Abdullah ibn Idris swears 
that Sharik is a Shi" a. Abu Dawud al-Rahawi is quoted in Al-Mizan, too, to have heard 
Sharik saying, ""Ali is the best of creation; whoever denies this fact is kafir (apostate) ."£6] 
What he meant, of course, is that "Ali is the best of all men excluding the Prophet (pbuh), as 
all Shi" as believe. For this reason, al-Jawzjani, as quoted in Al-Mizan, describes him as 
"biased," meaning biased towards the faith of Ahl al-Bayt and preferring it to Jawzjani's 
sect. Al-Mizan also quotes Sharik's ahadith regarding the Commander of the Faithful. He 
cites Abu Rabi"ah from Ibn Buraydah from his father upto the Prophet who said: "For every 
Prophet there is a vicegerent and heir." 

He was very zealous about disseminating the knowledge pertaining to the virtues of the 
Commander of the Faithful, and to pressure the Omayyads to recognize and publicize his 
merits, peace be upon him. In his work Durrat al-Ghawwas, al-Hariri, as in Sharik's 
biography in Ibn Khallikan's Wafiyyat al-A^yan, says, "Sharik had an Omayyad friend of his. 
One day, Sharik recounted the attributes of " Ali ibn Abu Talib (as). His Omayyad friend said 
that "Ali was "a fine man.' This enraged Sharik who said, "Is this all that can be said about 
"Ali, that he was a fine man, no more?'"JT[ 

At the conclusion of Sharik's biography as stated in Al-Mizan, Ibn Abu Shaybah has quoted 
"Ali ibn Hakim ibn Qadim citing "Ali saying that once a complaint was brought with a man 
to Sharik's attention. The man said: "People claim that your mind is doubtful." Sharik 
answered: "You fool! How can I ever be doubtful?! I wish I had been present in the 
company of "Ali to let my sword be drenched with the blood of his enemies." 



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Anyone who studies Sharik's life-style will be convinced that the man was a very loyal 
follower of the path of Ahl al-Bayt (as). He transmitted a great deal of traditions narrated by 
the most learned followers of Ahl al-Bayt. His son 'Abdul-Rahman has said, "My father has 
learned queries from Ja'fer al-Ju'fi, in addition to ten thousand rare traditions." 'Abdullah 
ibn al-Mubarak is quoted in Al-Mizan saying, "Sharik is more knowledgeable about the 
Kufians' hadith than Sufyan. He was an avowed enemy of 'Ali's foes, one who spoke ill of 
them." 'Abdul-Salam ibn Harb once asked him: "Why don't you visit a sick brother of 
yours?" He inquired: "And who is that?" The man answered: "Malik ibn Maghul." Sharik, as 
stated in the latter's biography in Al-Mizan, then said: "Anyone who speaks ill of 'Ali and 
' Ammar is surely no brother of mine." 

Once the name of Mu'awiyah was mentioned in his presence and was described as 
"clement." Sharik, as stated in his biography in Al-Mizan as well as in Ibn Khallikan's 
Wafiyyat al-A^yan, said: "Whoever discards equity and fights 'Ali can never be clement." He 
narrated one hadith from Asim, Tharr, 'Abdullah ibn Mas'ud successively indicating that the 
Prophet (pbuh) had said: "If you see Mu'awiyah on my pulpit, kill him." This is quoted by 
al-Tabari, and al-Tabari in turn is quoted by al-Thahbi while the latter discusses the 
biography of Abbad ibn Ya'qub. 

Ibn Khallikan's Wafiyyat includes a biography of Sharik where the author quotes a dialogue 
between Sharik and Mis'ab ibn 'Abdullah al-Zubairi, in the presence of the 'Abbaside ruler 
al-Mahdi. Mis'ab asked Sharik: "Do you really belittle Abu Bakr and 'Umer?" up to the 
conclusion of the incident. 

In spite of all of this, al-Thahbi has described him as a "truthful imam." He also quotes Ibn 
Ma' in saying that Sharik is "truthful, trustworthy." At the conclusion of the biography, the 
author states: "Sharik was a bastian of knowledge. Ishaq al-Azraq learned from him nine 
thousand ahadith." He also quotes Tawbah al-Halabi saying, "We were at Ramla once, and 
someone wondered who the nation's man was. Some people said it was Lahi'ah, while others 
said it was Malik. We asked 'Isa ibn Yunus to state his view. He said: 'The nation's man is 
Sharik,' who was then still alive." 

Muslim and authors of the four books of sunan have all relied on Sharik's authority. Refer to 
his hadith as they quote it transmitted by Ziyad ibn Alaqah, 'Ammar al-Thihni, Hisham ibn 
'Urwah, Ya'li ibn 'Ata', 'Abdul-Malik ibn 'Umayr, 'Ammarah ibn al-Qa'qa' and 'Abdullah 
ibn Shabramah. These reporters have cited Sharik's hadith from Ibn Shaybah, 'Ali ibn 
Hakim, Yunus ibn Muhammad, al-Fadl ibn Musa, Muhammad ibn al-Sabah, and 'Ali ibn 
Hajar. He was born in either Khurasan or Bukhara in 95 A.H., and he died in Kufa on a 
Saturday early in Thul-Qi'dah, 177 or 178. 

41. Shu' bah ibn al-Hajjaj Abul-Ward al-'Atki al-Wasiti (Abu Bastam) 

Born in Wasit but lived in Basra, Abu Bastam is the first to inquire in Iraq about 
traditionists, and he is credited with helping the weak and the abandoned. He is considered 
among Shi' a nobility by many highly intellectual Sunni scholars such as Qutaybah in his Al- 
Ma^arif, and al-Shahristani in his Al-Milal wal-Nihal. Authors of the six sahih books and 
others have all relied on his authority. His hadith is ascertained in Bukhari's and Muslim's 
sahih books as transmitted by Abu Ishaq al-Subai'i, Isma'il ibn Abu Khalid, Mansur, al- 
A'mash and others. In both Bukhari's and Muslim's books, his hadith is cited by Muhammad 
ibn Ja'fer, Yahya ibn Sa'id al-Qattan, 'Uthman ibn Jabalah and others. He was born in 83 



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and he died in 160 A.H., may Allah be merciful on him. 

42. Sa'sa'ah ibn Sawhan ibn Hajar ibn al-Harith al-'Abdi 

Imam Ibn Qutaybah describes him on page 206 of his Ma K arif as one of the famous Shi' a 
dignitaries. Ibn Sa'd states on page 154, Vol. 6, of his Tabaqat: "[Sa'sa'ah] is very well 
known all over Kufa as an orator and a companion of 'Ali with whom he has witnesed the 
Battle of the Camel together with his brothers Zayd and Sihan sons of Sawhan. Sihan is 
known as an orator before Sa'sa'ah, and he was the standard-bearer during the Battle of the 
Camel.£81 Having been killed, Sihan was succeeded in bearing the standard by Sa'sa'ah. 
Sa'sa'ah has narrated hadith from Imam 'Ali (as), and also from 'Abdullah ibn 'Abbas. He 
is a trusted traditionist although the ahadith he has narrated are not many." Ibn 'Abd al-Birr 
mentions him in his Isti'ab saying: "He accepted Islam during the life-time of Prophet 
Muhammad (pbuh) although he never met him in person due to his being very young then." 

He is chief among his tribesmen, descendants of 'Abd al-Qays. He is quite an eloquent 
orator, a man of wisdom who has acquired a total command over the language. He is, 
indeed, a man of piety, virtues, and wisdom. He is counted among the companions of 'Ali, 
peace be upon him. Yahya ibn Ma' in is quoted saying that Sa'sa'ah, Zayd and Sihan sons of 
Sawhan are all orators, and that Zayd and Sihan were killed during the Battle of the Camel. 
He also cites a critical problem which 'Umer, then caliph, could not solve; therefore, the 
caliph delivered a sermon in which he asked people for their suggestions. Sa'sa'ah, then a 
youth, stood and clarified its complexity and put forth a suggestion to it which was 
unanimously accepted. This should not surprise the reader since the descendants of Sawhan 
were among the most prominent masters of Arabia, pillars in virtue and descent. Ibn 
Qutaybah mentions them on page 138 of his chapter on renown dignitaries and men of 
influence in his Maarif. The author says: "Sawhan's descendants were Zayd ibn Sawhan, 
Sa'sa'ah ibn Sawhan, Sihan ibn Sawhan, of Banu 'Abd al-Qays." He adds: "Zayd was 
among the best of men. He narrated saying that the Prophet (pbuh) had said: 'Zayd is indeed 
a good man, and Jandab - what a man he is!' People inquired: 'Why do you mention these 
men alone?' The Prophet answered: 'The arm of one of them will precede in thirty years the 
rest of his body in entering Paradise, while the other will deal heavy blows so that right is 
distinguished from wrong.' The first, as it came to pass, participated in Jalawla' Battle where 
his arm was chopped off. He also participated in the Battle of the Camel on the side of 'Ali 
(as). He asked the Imam: 'O Commander of the Faithful! It looks like I am going to meet my 
fate.' The Imam (as) asked him, 'How do you know that, O father of Sulayman?' He 
answered: 'I have seen in a vision my arm stretching from heaven to pull me away from this 
world.' He was killed by 'Amr ibn Yathribi, while his brother Sihan was killed during the 
Battle of the Camel." 

It is no secret that the Prophet's prophecy regarding Zayd's arm preceding the rest of his 
body in entering Paradise is regarded by all Muslims as a testimony for his prophethood, a 
sign of the truth of the religion of Islam, and a recognition of the men of truth. All 
biographies of Zayd have mentioned it. Refer to his biography in Al-IstPab, Al-Isabah, and 
others. Traditionists have recorded the above, each in his own way of wording it, adding that 
[in "spite" of his being Shi' a] he was promised Paradise; so, praise be to the Lord of the 
Worlds. 

Al-'Asqalani mentions Sa'sa'ah ibn Sawhan in Part Three of his Isaba, saying: "He narrates 
traditions about 'Uthman and 'Ali (as). He has participated in the Battle of Siffin on 'Ali's 



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Al-Muraja'at 83 
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side. He is an eloquent orator who has encounters with Mu'awiyah." Al-Sha'bi has said: "I 
used to learn how to deliver sermons from him. "[91 Abu Ishaq al-Subai'i, al-Minhal ibn 
"Amr ibn Baridah, and others have all cited his hadith. Al-'Ala'i, narrating Ziyad's 
encounters, says that once al-Mughirah banished Sa'sa'ah, in accordance to an edict which 
he had received from Mu'awiyah, from Kufa to Jazirah, or to Bahrain (some historians say 
to the island of Ibn Fakkan), where he died in banishment just as Abu Tharr al-Ghifari had 
died before him in the Rabatha desert (southern Iraq). Al-Thahbi mentions Sa'sa'ah and 
describes him as "a well-known and trusted traditionist," citing testimonies to his 
trustworthiness from Ibn Sa'd and Nisa'i, and marking his name to indicate that al-Nisa'i 
relies on his authority. Whoever does not rely on his authority does not in fact harm anyone 
but his own self, as the holy Qur'an says: "We have not done them any harm; they have only 
harmed their own selves." 

43. Tawus ibn Kisan al-Khawlani al-Hamadani al-Yamani 

He is 'Abdul-Rahman's father. His mother is Persian, and his father is Ibn Qasit, a Namri 
slave of Bajir ibn Raysan al-Himyari. Sunni intellectuals regard him a Shi' a without any 
question. Among their dignitaries, al-Shahristani mentions him in his Al-Milal wal-Nihal, 
and Ibn Qutaybah in his Al-Maarif. Authors of the six sahih books, as well as others, have 
all relied on his authority. Refer to his hadith in both sahih books where he cites Ibn 'Abbas, 
Ibn 'Umer and Abu Hurayrah, and in Muslim's Sahih where he cites 'Ayesha, Zayd ibn 
Thabit, and 'Abdullah ibn 'Umer. His hadith is recorded in Bukhari alone as transmitted by 
al-Zuhri, and in Muslim by many renown traditionists. He died in Mecca while performing 
the rite of pilgrimage one day before the day of Tarwiya (i.e. on the 7th of Thul-Hijjah), in 
either 104 or 106 A.H. His funeral was quite eventful. His coffin was carried by 'Abdullah 
son of al-Hasan son of the Commander of the Faithful (as). He was vying with others to 
carry it, so much so that his headwear dropped, and his clothes were torn from the back side 
by the stampede, as narrated by Ibn Khallikan in his biography of Tawus in Wafiyyat al- 
A^yan. 

44. Zalim ibn 'Amr ibn Sufyan, Abul-Aswad al-Du'ali 

His being a Shi' a and a faithful adherent to the faith during the wilayat of Imams 'Ali, al- 
Hasan and al-Husayn, as well as other members of the Ahl al-Bayt, peace be upon all of 
them, is more visible than the sun, and it requires no reiteration. \ 101 We have dealt with it in 
detail in our work Mukhtasar al-Kalam fi Muallifi al-Shi"a min Sadr al-Islam. His being a 
Shi' a is a matter which nobody disputes. In spite of this fact, authors of the six sahih books 
have relied on his authority. Refer to his hadith about 'Umer ibn al-Khattab in Bukhari's 
Sahih. In Muslim's, his hadith is cited by Abu Musa and 'Umran ibn Hasin. In both sahih 
books, his hadith is cited by Yahya ibn Ya'mur. In Bukhari's, 'Abdullah ibn Buraydah 
quotes him, and in Muslim's, his hadith is narrated by his son Abu Harb. He died, may Allah 
Almighty have mercy on him, at the age of 85 in Basrah in 99 A.H. by the plague which 
devastated the city. He is the one who laid down the foundations of Arabic grammar 
according to rules which he learned from the Commander of the Faithful (as), as we have 
expounded in our book Al-Mukhtasar. 

45. v Amr ibn Wa'ilah ibn 'Abdullah ibn 'Umer al-Laithi al-Makki 

Also known as Abul-Tufayl, he was born in the same year when the Battle of Uhud took 
place, i.e. 3 A.H. He was for eight years contemporary of the Prophet (pbuh). Ibn Qutaybah 



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has included him among so-called "extremist Rafidis," stating that he was al-Mukhtar's 
standard-bearer and the last of the sahabah to die. Ibn 'Abd al-Birr has mentioned him in his 
chapter on kunayat in his Isti'ab saying, "He resided in Kufa, and he accompanied 'Ali (as) 
in all his battles. When 'Ali (as) was killed, he left for Mecca." He concludes by saying, "He 
was a virtuous and wise man, swift in providing an accurate answer, eloquent. He was also 
one of the Shi' as of 'Ali, peace be upon him." He also indicates that "Once, Abul-Tufayl 
approached Mu'awiyah and the latter asked him: 'For how long have you mourned the death 
of your friend Father of al-Hasan (as)?' He answered: 'I have grieved as much as the mother 
of Moses grieved when she parted with her son, and I complain unto Allah for my 
shortcomings.' Mu'awiyah asked him: 'Were you among those who enforced a siege around 
'Uthman's house?' He answered: 'No; but I used to visit him.' Then Mu'awiyah asked him: 
'What stopped you from rescuing him?' He retorted: 'What about you? What stopped you 
from doing so when sure death surrounded him, while you were in Syria a master among his 
subjects?!' Mu'awiyah replied: 'Can't you see that avenging his murder is an indication of 
my support?' 'Amir then told Mu'awiyah that he acted exactly like the one implied in the 
verses composed by the brother of Ju'f the poet in which the latter says: 'You mourn my 
death, yet while I was alive, you did not even sustain me against starvation.'" 

Al-Zuhri, Abul-Zubair, al-Jariri, Ibn Abul-Hasin, 'Abdul-Malik ibn Abjar, Qatadah, Ma'ruf, 
al-Walid ibn Jami', Mansur ibn Hayyan, al-Qasim ibn Abu Bardah, 'Arm ibn Dinar, 
'Ikremah ibn Khalid, Kulthum ibn Habib, Furat al-Qazzaz, and 'Abdul-Aziz ibn Rafi' have 
all narrated his hadith as it exists in Muslim's and Bukhari's Sahih books. Bukhari's work 
contains traditions of the Prophet (pbuh) regarding the pilgrimage which are narrated by 
Abul-Tufayl. He describes the Prophet's characteristics, and he narrates about the prayers 
and signs of prophethood from Ma'ath ibn Jabal, and he narrates about fate from 'Abdullah 
ibn Mas'ud. He narrates from 'Ali (as), Huthayfah ibn al-Yemani, 'Abdullah ibn 'Abbas and 
'Umer ibn al-Khattab, as is well-known by all researchers of Muslim's hadith besides that of 
the authors of his musnads. Abul-Tufayl, may Allah Ta'ala encompass his soul with His 
mercy, died in Mecca in 100 A.H. (some say in 102, while still others say 120), and Allah 
knows best. 

46. v Abbad ibn Ya'qub al-Asadi al-Ruwajni al-Kufi 

He is mentioned by Dar Qutni who says, '"Abbad ibn Ya'qub is a truthful Shi'a." Ibn 
Hayyan mentions him and says, '"Abbad ibn Ya'qub used to invite people to Rafidism." Ibn 
Khuzaymah says, '"Abbad ibn Ya'qub is a man whose traditions are never doubted, though 
his faith is questioned, etc." 'Abbad narrates from al-Fadl ibn al-Qasim, Sufyan al-Thawri, 
Zubayd, Murrah, that Ibn Mas'ud used to interpret the verse "Allah has spared the Believers 
from fighting" (Qur'an, 25:33) to imply that they were spared from fighting 'Ali. He quotes 
Sharik, 'Asim, Tharr, from 'Abdullah who has stated that the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) has 
said: "When you see Mu'awiyah on my pulpit, kill him." This hadith is recorded by Tabari 
and others. 'Abbad says that anyone who does not mention in his daily prayers that he 
dissociates himself from the enemies of the Prophet's progeny (as) shall be resurrected in 
their company. He also says, "Allah Almighty is too fair to let Talhah and al-Zubayr enter 
Paradise; they fought 'Ali after swearing allegiance to him." Salih al-Jazrah has said: 
'"Abbad ibn Ya'qub used to denounce 'Uthman." 'Abbad al-Ahwazi quotes his trusted 
authorities saying that 'Abbad ibn Ya'qub used to denounce "their" ancestors. In spite of all 
this, Sunni Imams like al-Bukhari, al-Tirmithi, Ibn Majah, Ibn Khuzaymah, and Ibn Abu 
Dawud rely on his authority, their mentor, in whom they all place their trust. 



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In spite of his intolerance and prejudice, Abu Hatim has mentioned him and said that he is a 
trusted shaykh. Al-Thahbi mentions him in his Al-Mizan and says, "He is one of the 
extremist Shi" as, leaders of innovators; yet he is truthful when narrating hadith." He goes on 
to mention what has already been stated above regarding "Abbad's views. Al-Bukhari quotes 
him directly while discussing tawhid in his own sahih. He died, may Allah be merciful unto 
him, in Shawwal of 150 A.H. Al-Qasim ibn Zakariyyah al-Mutarraz has intentionally 
misquoted "Abbad's statements regarding the digging the sea and the flow of its water, and 
we seek refuge with Allah against telling lies about the Believers; He is surely the One Who 
foils their schemes. 

47. 'Abdullah ibn Dawud 

He is father of 'Abdul-Rahman al-Hamadani al-Kufi. He resided in Al-Harbiyya, a Basrah 
suburb. Qutaybah has included him among renown Shi" a personalities in his own Al- 
Maarif, and al-Bukhari has relied on his authority in his own Sahih. Refer to his hadith 
from al-A"mash, Hisham ibn "Urwah and Ibn Jurayh. His hadith is narrated in Bukhari's 
Sahih by Musaddid, "Amr ibn "Ali, and, in some places, by Nasr ibn "Ali. He died in 212. 

48. Abdullah ibn Shaddad ibn al-Had 

Al-Had's full name is Usamah ibn "Abdullah ibn Jabir ibn al-Bashir ibn "Atwarah ibn "Amir 
ibn Malik ibn Laith al-Laithi al-Kufi Abul-Walid, a companion of the Commander of the 
Faithful (as). His mother is Salma daughter of "Amis al-Khayth"ami, sister of Asma'. He is 
nephew, from the mother's side, of "Abdullah ibn Ja"fer and Muhammad ibn Abu Ja"fer, and 
brother of "Amara daughter of Hamzah ibn "Abdul-Muttalib from the mother's side. Ibn Sa"d 
includes him among residents of Kufa who were distinguished for their fiqh and knowledge 
and who belong to the tabFin. At the conclusion of his biography, the author states on page 
86 of Vol. 6 of his Tabaqat: "During the reign of "Abdul-Rahman ibn Muhammad ibn al- 
Ash"ath, "Abdullah ibn Shaddad was among those who recite the Holy Qur'an and know it 
by heart and who fought al-Hajjaj, and he was killed during the Dujail Battle." He also says, 
"He was a trustworthy faqih who narrated a great deal of hadith, and he was a Shi" a." 

The battle referred to above took place in 81 A.H. All authors of the sahih books have relied 
on the authority of "Abdullah ibn Shaddad. His hadith is quoted by Ishaq al-Shaybani, 
Ma"bid ibn Khalid and Sa"d ibn Ibrahim. Their ahadith from "Abdullah ibn Shaddad exist in 
both sahih books as well as in others, in addition to all musnads. Al-Bukhari and Muslim 
quote his hadith as transmitted from "Ali (as), Maymuna and "Ayesha. 

49. "Abdullah ibn "Umer ibn Muhammad ibn Aban ibn Salih ibn "Umayr al-Qarashi 
al-Kufi 

Also known as Mishkadanah, he is mentor of Muslim, Abu Dawud, al-Baghwi, and many 
other peers who all learned hadith from him. Abu Hatim has mentioned him testifying to his 
truthfulness. He quotes his hadith and states that he is a Shi"a. Salih ibn Muhammad ibn 
Jazrah has mentioned him and said that he is a Shi"a "extremist." In spite of this, "Abdullah 
ibn Ahmed has narrated hadith from his father. Abu Hatim states that Mishkadanah is 
trustworthy. Al-Thahbi has mentioned him in his Al-Mizan, describing him as "a truthful 
man who has learned a great deal of hadith from Ibn al-Mubarak, al-Dar Wardi, and their 
group of scholars. Muslim, Abu Dawud, al-Baghwi and many others have recorded a great 
deal of his ahadith." He has marked his name with the initials of Muslim and Abu Dawud 



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indicating thereby their reliance on his hadith, and quoting what the learned scholars named 
above have said about him. He has also stated that he died in 239 A.H. Refer to his hadith in 
Muslim's Sahih as transmitted through 'Abdah ibn Sulayman, 'Abdullah ibn al-Mubarak, 
'Abdul-Rahman ibn Sulayman, 'Ali ibn Hashim, Abul-Ahwas, Husayn ibn 'Ali al-Ju'fi and 
Muhammad ibn Fudayl. In his chapter dealing with causes of dissension, Muslim quotes his 
hadith directly. Abul-' Abbas al-Sarraj has said that he died either in 238 or 237 A.H. 

50. 'Abdullah ibn Lahi'ah ibn 'Uqbah al-Hadrami, Egypt's judge and scholar 

In his Maarif, Ibn Qutaybah has included him among famous shaykhs. In his biography of 
'Abdullah ibn Lahi'ah in his Al-Mizan, Ibn 'Adi has described him as an "extremist Shi'a." 
Quoting Talhah, Abu Ya'li states: "Abu Lahi'ah has said: 'Hay ibn 'Abdullah al-Ghafari has 
narrated through the authority of Abu 'Abdullah Rahman al-Hibli from 'Abdullah ibn 'Umer 
that during his sickness (which preceded his demise), the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) told us 
to fetch his brother. We brought him Abu Bakr, but he turned away from him and said: 'I 
had asked for my brother'. We then brought 'Uthman, but again the Messenger of Allah 
(pbuh) turned away from him. 'Ali (as) was then brought in his presence. He covered him 
with his own mantle and inclined his head on his shoulder for a while (as if he was 
whispering something in his ear). When 'Ali left, people asked him: 'What has the Prophet 
(pbuh) said to you?' He answered: 'He has taught me a thousand chapters each of which 
leads to a thousand sections.'" 

Al-Thahbi mentions him in his Al-Mizan, marking his name with DTQ to denote who among 
the authors of the sahih books quotes him [i.e. Abu Dawud, al-Tirmithi, and Dar Qutni. 
Refer to his hadith in al-Tirmithi's Sahih, Abu Dawud and all musnads. Ibn Khallikan has 
greatly praised him in his Wafiyyat al-A^yan. Refer to his hadith in Muslim's sahih as 
transmitted by Yazid ibn Abu Habib. In his book Al-Jam" Bayna Kitabay Abu Nasr al- 
Kalabathi wa Abu Bakr al-Asbahani [Compilation of Both Books of Abu Nasr al-Kalabathi 
and Abul-Faraj al-Asbahani, al-Qaysarani includes him among Bukhari's and Muslim's 
reliable authorities. Ibn Lahi'ah died on Sunday, mid-Rabi'ul Akhir, 174 A.H. 

51. 'Abdullah ibn Maymun al-Qaddah al-Makki 

A friend of Imam Ja'fer ibn Muhammad al-Sadiq (as), he is relied upon by al-Tirmithi. Al- 
Thahbi mentions him and marks his name with al-Tirmithi's initials as an indication that the 
latter cites his hadith. He adds saying that he narrates hadith through the authority of Imam 
Ja'fer ibn Muhammad al-Sadiq (as), and of Talhah ibn 'Umer. 

52. 'Abdul-Rahman ibn Salih al-Azdi 

His name is Abu Muhammad al-Kufi. His friend and student 'Abbas al-Duri says that he 
was a Shi'a. Ibn 'Adi mentions him and says, "He is burnt in the fire of Shi'ism." Salih 
Jazrah says that 'Abdul-Rahman used to oppose 'Uthman. Abu Dawud says that 'Abdul- 
Rahman has compiled a book containing the vices of some of the companions of the Prophet 
(pbuh), and that he is a bad person. In spite of all this, both 'Abbas al-Duri and Imam al- 
Baghwi narrate his hadith. Al-Nisa'i has quoted him. Al-Thahbi has referred to him in his Al- 
Mizan and marked his name with al-Nisa'i's initials as an indication of the latter's reliance on 
him. He also quotes what the Imams (among the Sunnis) have said about him as stated 
above. He indicates that Ma' in trusts him, and that he died in 235. Refer to his hadith in the 



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Sunan books as transmitted through Sharik and a group of his peers. 

53. 'Abdul-Razzaq ibn Humam ibn Naff al-Himyari al-San v ani 

One of the Shfa nobility and honourable ancestry, he is included by Ibn Qutaybah among 
renown Shfas in his Maarif. Ibn al-Athir, on page 137, Vol. 6, of his Al-Tarikh Al-Kamil, 
mentions 'Abdul-Razzaq's death in the end of the events of 211 A.H. thus: "In that year, the 
traditionist v Abdul-Razzaq ibn Humam al-San'ani, one of Ahmed's Shfa mentors, died." Al- 
Muttaqi al-Hindi mentions him while discussing hadith number 5994 in his Kanz al- 
^Ummal, on page 391, Vol. 6, stating that he is a Shfa. Al-Thahbi, in his Al-Mizan, says, 
'"Abdul-Razzaq ibn Humam ibn Nafi\ Abu Bakr al-Himyari's mentor, is a Shfa dignitary 
of San" a, was one of the most trusted traditionists among all scholars." He narrates his 
biography and adds: "He has written a great deal, authoring [in particular] Al-Jamx Al- 
Kabir. He is a custodian of knowledge sought by many people such as Ahmed, Ishaq, 
Yahya, al-Thahbi, al-Ramadi, and v Abd." He discusses his character and quotes al- v Abbas 
ibn v Abdul- v Azim, accusing him of being a liar. He states that al-Thahbi has denounced such 
an accusation. He says, "Not only Muslim, but all those who have memorized hadith have 
agreed with al- v Abbas, while the Imams of knowledge rely on his authority." He goes on to 
narrate his biography, quoting al-Tayalisi saying: "I have heard Ibn Ma'in say something 
from which I became convinced that v Abdul-Razzaq was a Shfa. Ibn Ma'in asked him: 
v Your instructors, such as Mu'ammar, Malik, Ibn Jurayh, Sufyan, al-Awza v i, are all Sunnis. 
Where did you learn the sect of Shi'ism from?' He answered: 'Ja'fer ibn Sulayman al-Zab'i 
once paid us a visit, and I found him to be virtuous and rightly guided, and I learned Shfism 
from him.'" 

v Abdul-Razzaq, as quoted above, statement in which he says that he is a Shfa indicates that 
he has learned Shi'ism from JaTer al-Zab v i, but Muhammad ibn Abu Bakr al-Muqaddimi 
thinks that Ja'fer al-Zab'i himself has learned Shi'ism from "Abdul-Razzaq. He even 
denounces "Abdul-Razzaq for this reason. In Al-Mizan, he is quoted as saying, "I wish I had 
lost v Abdul-Razzaq for good. Nobody has corrupted Ja'fer's beliefs other than he." The 
"corruption" to which he refers is Shi v ism! 

Ibn Ma v in has heavily relied on 'Abdul-Razzaq's authority, in spite of his "admission" that 
he is a Shfa as stated above. Ahmed ibn Abu Khayth'amah, as in "Abdel-Razzaq's 
biography in Al-Mizan, has said, "It has been said to Ibn Ma'in that Ahmed says that 
v Ubaydullah ibn Musa rejects v Abdul-Razzaq's hadith because of his Shfa beliefs. Ibn 
Ma' in has responded thus: V I swear by Allah, Who is the only God, that v Abdul-Razzaq is a 
hundred times superior to 'Ubaydullah, and I have heard "Abdul-Razzaq's hadith and found 
it to be many times more in volume than "Ubaydullah's."' Also in 'Abdel-Razzaq's biography 
in Al-Mizan, Abu Salih Muhammad ibn Isma'il al-Dirari is quoted saying, "While we were 
in San v a guests of "Abdul-Razzaq, we heard that Ahmed and Ibn Ma' in, joined by others, 
had rejected 'Abdul-Razzaq's hadith, or say disliked it, because of the traditionist being a 
Shfa. The news deeply depressed us. We thought that we had spent our resources and taken 
the trouble to make the trip there all in vain. Then I joined the pilgrims for Mecca where I 
met Yahya and asked him about this issue. He, as stated in 'Abdel-Razzaq's biography in Al- 
Mizan, said: "O Abu Salih! Even if "Abdul-Razzaq abandons Islam altogether, we shall 
never reject his hadith.'" 

Ibn v Adi has mentioned him and said: "'Abdul-Razzaq has reported ahadith dealing with 
virtues, but nobody has endorsed them.JTJJ He also counts the vices of certain people, which 



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views are rejected by others; \ 121 above all, he is believed to be a Shi" a." 



In spite of all this, Ahmed ibn Hanbal was asked once, as indicated in "Abdel-Razzaq's 
biography in Al-Mizan, whether he knew of any hadith better than that reported by "Abdul- 
Razzaq, and his answer was negative. Ibn al-Qaysarani states at the conclusion of "Abdul- 
Razzaq's biography in his own book Al-JamV Bayna Rijalul Sahihain, quoting Imam Ahmed 
ibn Hanbal saying, "If people dispute Mu'ammar's hadith, then the final arbitrator is "Abdul- 
Razzaq.' Mukhlid al-Shu"ayri says that he was once in the company of "Abdul-Razzaq when 
a man mentioned Mu"awiyah. "Abdul-Razzaq, as stated in his biography in Al-Mizan, then 
said: "Do not spoil our meeting by mentioning the descendants of Abu Sufyan.'" Zayd ibn al- 
Mubarak has said: "We were in the company of "Abdul-Razzaq once when we recounted ibn 
al-Hadthan's hadith. When "Umer's address to "AH and al-" Abbas: "You (i.e. "Abbas) have 
come to demand your inheritance of your nephew (the Prophet, peace be upon him and his 
progeny), while this man (i.e. "Ali) has come to demand his wife's inheritance of her father' 
was read, "Abdul-Razzaq, as stated in his biography in Al-Mizan, said: "Behold this 
shameless, impertinent man using "nephew' and "father' instead of "the Messenger of Allah 
(pbuh)'!" 

In spite of all this, all compilers of hadith have recorded his traditions and relied on his 
authority. It has even been said, as Ibn Khallikan states in his Wafiyyat al-A^yan, that people 
did not travel to anyone after the demise of the Prophet (pbuh) as often as they did to 
"Abdul-Razzaq's. He is quoted by the Imams of contemporary Muslims such as Sufyan ibn 
"Ayinah, among whose mentors "Abdul-Razzaq himself was one, Ahmed ibn Hanbal, Yahya 
ibn Ma" in, and others. 

Refer to his hadith in all the sahih books, as well as all musnads, which all contain quite a 
few of his ahadith. He was born, may Allah have mercy on his soul, in 211 A.H. He was 
contemporary to Abu "Abdullah Imam al-Sadiq (as) for twenty-two years. \ 131 He died 
during the first days of the Imamate of Imam Abu Ja"fer al-Jawad (as), nine years before the 
Imam's demise; \ 141 may Allah resurrect him in the company of these Imams to whose 
service, seeking of the Pleasure of Allah, he sincerely dedicated his life. 

54. v Abdul-Malik ibn "Ayan 

He is brother of Zararah, Hamran, Bakir, "Abdul-Rahman, Malik, Musa, Daris, and Umm al- 
Aswad, all descendants of "Ayan, and all are notable Shi" as. They have won the sublime cup 
for serving the Islamic Shari"a, and they have produced a blessed and righteous progeny that 
adheres to their sect and views. 

Al-Thahbi mentions "Abdul-Malik in his Al-Mizan, citing Abu Wa'il and others quoting Abu 
Hatim saying that he has reported authentic ahadith, and that Ma" in has said that there is 
nothing wrong with his hadith, while another authority testifies thus: "He is truthful, yet he 
is Rafidi, too." Ibn Ayinah has said: ""Abdul-Malik, a Rafidi, has reported hadith to us." Abu 
Hatim says that he is among the earliest to embrace Shi" a Islam, and that his hadith is 
authentic. Both Sufyans have transmitted his hadith and reported it well-documented by 
others. 

In his book Al-JamV Bayna Rijalul Sahihain, Ibn al-Qaysarani, as quoted in both works by 
Sufyan ibn A"yinah, has this to say about him: ""Abdul-Malik ibn "Ayan, brother of Hamran 
al-Kufi, was a Shi" a whose hadith about tawhid is recorded by Bukhari as transmitted by 



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Abu Wa'il, and about iman as recorded in Muslim's." 



He died during the life-time of Imam al-Sadiq (as) who earnestly invoked the Almighty's 
mercy upon him. Abu Ja'fer ibn Babawayh has reported that Imam al-Sadiq (as), 
accompanied by his disciples, visited 'Abdul-Malik's gravesite in Medina. May he receive 
the good rewards and live eternally in peace. 

55. 'Ubaydullah ibn Musa al-'Abasi al-Kufi 

He is al-Bukhari's mentor, as the latter acknowledges on page 177 of his Sahih. Ibn 
Qutaybah has included him among traditionists in his work Al-Maarif, stating that the man 
is a Shi' a. When he recounts a roll call of notable Shi' as in his chapter on sects on page 206 
of his book al-Maarif, he includes 'Ubaydullah among them. On page 279, Vol. 6, of his 
Tabaqat, Ibn Sa'd narrates 'Ubaydullah's biography without forgettig to indicate that he is a 
Shi' a, and that he narrates hadith supportive of Shi'ism, thus, according to Ibn Sa'd, 
weakening his hadith in the eyes of many people. He also adds saying that 'Ubaydullah is 
also very well familiar with the Holy Qur'an. He records on page 139, Vol. 6, of his Al- 
Kamil the date of his death at the conclusion of events that took place in 213 A.H., stating: 
'"Ubaydullah ibn Musa al-'Abasi, the jurist, was a Shi'a who taught al-Bukhari as the latter 
himself acknowledges in his Sahih." Al-Thahbi mentions him in his Al-Mizan saying, 
"Ubaydullah ibn Musa al-'Abasi al-Kufi, al-Bukhari's mentor, is no question trustworthy, 
but he also is a deviated Shi'a." Yet the author admits that both Abu Hatim and Ma'in have 
trusted his hadith. He says, "Abu Hatim has said that the hadith narrated by Abu Na'im is 
more authentic, yet 'Ubaydullah's is more authentic than all of them when it comes to the 
ahadith transmitted by Isra'il." 

Ahmed ibn 'Abdullah al-Ajli has said, '"Ubaydullah ibn Musa is very knowledgeable of the 
Holy Qur'an, a major authority therein. I have never seen him arrogant or conceited, and he 
was never seen laughing boisterously." Abu Dawud says, '"Ubaydullah ibn al-'Abasi was a 
Shi'a heretic." At the conclusion of the biography of Matar ibn Maymun in Al-Mizan, al- 
Thahbi states: '"Ubaydullah, a Shi'a, is trustworthy." Ibn Ma'in used to learn hadith from 
'Ubaydullah ibn Musa and 'Abdul-Razzaq knowing that they were both Shi' as. In Thahbi's 
Al-Mizan, while documenting 'Abdul-Razzaq's biography, the author quotes Ahmed ibn 'Ali 
Khaythamah saying, "I inquired of Ibn Ma'in once regarding what I heard about Ahmed's 
alleged rejection of 'Ubaydullah ibn Musa's hadith because of his being a Shi'a. Ibn Ma'in 
answered: 'I swear by Allah Who has no associate that 'Abdul-Razzaq is superior to 
'Ubaydullah a hundred times, and I have heard from 'Abdul-Razzaq many times more 
ahadith than I heard from 'Ubaydullah.'" 

Sunnis, like all others, rely on 'Ubaydullah's hadith in their respective sahih books. Refer to 
his hadith in both sahih books transmitted by Shayban ibn 'Abdul-Rahman. Bukhari's Sahih 
quotes his hadith as reported by al-A'mash ibn 'Urwah and Isma'il ibn Abu Khalid. His 
hadith as recorded in Muslim's Sahih is reported from Isra'il, al-Hasan ibn Salih, and 
Usamah ibn Zayd. Al-Bukhari quotes him directly. He is also quoted directly by Ishaq ibn 
Ibrahim, Abu Bakr ibn Abu Shaybah, Ahmed ibn Ishaq al-Bukhari, Mahmud ibn Ghaylan, 
Ahmed ibn Abu Sarij, Muhammad ibn al-Hasan ibn Ashkab, Muhammad ibn Khalid al- 
Thahbi, and Yusuf ibn Musa al-Qattan. Muslim quotes his hadith as reported by al-Hajjaj 
ibn al-Sha'ir, al-Qasim ibn Zakariyyah, 'Abdullah al-Darmi, Ishaq ibn al-Mansur, Ibn Abu 
Shaybah, 'Abd ibn Hamid, Ibrahim ibn Dinar, and Ibn Namir. Al-Thahbi states in his Al- 
Mizan that 'Ubaydullah died in 213 A.H. adding, "He was well known for his asceticism, 



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adoration, and piety." His death took place in early Thul-Qi'da; may Allah Almighty 
sanctify his resting place. 

56. 'Uthman ibn 'Umayr 'Abdul- Yaqzan al-Thaqafi al-Kufi al-Bijli 

He is also known as 'Uthman ibn Abu Zar'ah, 'Uthman ibn Qays, and 'Uthman ibn Abu 
Hamid. Abu Ahmed al-Zubayri says that 'Uthman believes in the return. Ahmed ibn Hanbal 
says, "Abu Yaqzan was joined in dissenting by Ibrahim ibn 'Abdullah ibn Hasan." Ibn 'Adi 
says the following about him: "He has embraced the bad sect, and he believes in the return, 
although trusted authorities have quoted him knowing that he was weak." The fact of the 
matter is that whenever some people desire to belittle a Shi' a traditionist and undermine his 
scholarly ability, they charge him with preaching the concept of the return. Thus have they 
done to 'Uthman ibn 'Umayr, so much so that Ibn Ma' in has said: "There is really nothing 
wrong with 'Uthman's hadith." 

In spite of all attacks on him, al-A'mash, Sufyan, Shu'bah, Sharik and other peers have not 
in the least hesitated to quote him. Abu Dawud, al-Tirmithi and others have all quoted him 
in their sunan and relied on his authority. Refer to his hadith as they record it through Anas 
and others. Al-Thahbi has documented his biography and quoted the statements by notable 
scholars as cited above, putting DTQ on his name to indicate who among the authors of the 
sunan quote him. 

57. Adi ibn Thabit al-Kufi 

Ibn Ma'in has described him as a "Shi'a extremist," while Dar Qutni calls him "Rafidi, 
extremist, but also reliable." Al-Jawzjani says that the man has "deviated." Al-Mas'udi says, 
"We have never seen anyone who is so outspoken in preaching his Shi'a views like 'Adi ibn 
Thabit." In his Al-Mizan, al-Thahbi describes him as "the learned scholar of Shi' as, the most 
truthful among them, the judge and Imam of their mosques. Had all the Shi' as been like him, 
their harm would have been minimized." Then he goes on to document his biography and 
quote the views of the scholars cited above. He recounts the scholars who describe him as 
trustworthy such as Dar Qutni, Ahmed ibn Hanbal, Ahmed al-'Ajli, Ahmed al-Nisa'i, 
placing on his name the initials of authoers of all the six sahih books who quote him. 

Refer to his hadith in both Bukhari's and Muslim's Sahih books as transmitted by al-Bara' 
ibn 'Azib, 'Abdullah ibn Yazid (his maternal grand-father), 'Abdullah ibn Abu Awfah, 
Sulayman ibn Sard, and Sa'id ibn Jubayr. His hadith reported by Zarr ibn Habish and Abu 
Hazim al-Ashja'i is recorded in Muslim's Sahih. His hadith is quoted by al-A'mash, Mis'ar, 
Sa'id, Yahya ibn Sa'id al-Ansari, Zayd ibn Abu Anisa, and Fudayl ibn Ghazwan. 

58. 'Atiyyah ibn Sa'd ibn Janadah al-'Awfi 

He is Abul-Hasan al-Kufi, the renown tabi"i. Al-Thahbi has mentioned him in his Al-Mizan, 
quoting Salim al-Muradi saying that 'Atiyyah adhered to Shi'ism. Imam Ibn Qutaybah has 
included him among traditionists in his Ma ^arif following his grandson al-'Awfi, al-Husayn 
ibn 'Atiyyah, the judge, adding, '"Atiyyah, a follower of Shi'ism, has been a jurist since the 
reign of al-Hajjaj." Ibn Qutaybah has mentioned a few renown Shi' as in his chapter on sects 
in his Ma^arif, listing 'Atiyyah al-'Awfi among them. Ibn Sa'd mentions him on age 212, 
Vol. 6, of his Tabaqat indicating his firm belief in Shi'ism. His father, Sa'd ibn Janadah, 
was a companion of 'Ali (as). Once he visited the Imam in Kufa and said: "O Commander of 



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the Faithful! I have been blessed with a newly born son; would you mind choosing a name 
for him?" The Imam answered: "This is a gift Catiyyah) from Allah; therefore, do name him 
'Atiyyah." 

Ibn Sa'd has said: '"Atiyyah ibn al-Ash'ath went out in an army to fight al-Hajjaj. When al- 
Ash'ath's army fled, 'Atiyyah fled to Persia. Al-Hajjaj wrote an edict to Muhammad ibn al- 
Qasim ordering him to call him to his presence and give him the option to either denounce 
'Ali or be whipped four hundred lashes, and his beard and head be shaven. So, he called him 
and read al-Hajjaj's letter to him, but 'Atiyyah refused to succumb; therefore, he had him 
whipped four hundred lashes and his head and beard were shaven. When Qutaybah became 
governor of Khurasan, 'Atiyyah rebelled against him and remained there till 'Umer ibn 
Habirah became ruler of Iraq. It was then that he wrote to him asking permission to go there. 
Granted permission, he came to Kufa where he stayed till he died in 11 A.H." The author 
adds, "He was, indeed, a trusted authority, and he reported many authentic ahadith." 

All his descendants were sincere followers of Muhammad's progeny (as). Among them were 
noblemen, highly distinguished personalities like al-Husayn ibn al-Hasan ibn 'Atiyyah who 
was appointed governor of the district of Al-Sharqiyya succeeding Hafs ibn Ghiyath, as 
stated on page 58 of the same reference, then he was transferred to al-Mahdi's troops. He 
died in 201 A.H. Another is Sa'd ibn Muhammad ibn al-Hasan ibn 'Atiyyah, also a 
traditionist, who became governor of Baghdad. \ 151 He used to quote his father Sa'd from his 
uncle al-Husayn ibn al-Hasan ibn 'Atiyyah. 

Back to the story of 'Atiyyah al-'Awfi. He is considered a reliable authority by Dawud and 
al-Tirmithi. Refer to his hadith in their sahih books from Ibn 'Abbas, Abu Sa'id and Ibn 
'Umer. He has also learned hadith from 'Abdullah ibn al-Hasan who quotes his father who 
quotes his grand-mother al-Zahra', Mistress of the women of Paradise. His son al-Hasan ibn 
'Atiyyah has learned hadith from him, and so have al-Hajjaj ibn Arta'ah, Mis'ar, al-Hasan 
ibn Adwan and others. 

59. APala' ibn Salih al-Taymi al-Kufi 

In his biography of APala' in Al-Mizan, Abu Hatim says the following about him: "He is one 
of the seniors of the Shi' as." In spite of this, Abu Dawud and al-Tirmithi have relied on his 
authority. Ma' in trusts him. Both Abu Hatim and Abu Zar'ah say that there is nothing wrong 
with his hadith. Refer to his hadith in both al-Tirmithi's and Abu Dawud's sahih books from 
Yazid ibn Abu Maryam and al-Hakam ibn 'Utaybah, in addition to all Sunni musnads. Abu 
Na'im and Yahya ibn Bakir quote him, and so do many of their peers. He must be 
distinguished from Al'ala' ibn Abul-' Abbas, the Meccan poet. The latter is a Sufyani shaykh. 

His hadith is reported by Abul-Tufayl. He is in a higher rank than Abul-'ala' ibn Salih; the 
latter is a Kufian, while the poet is Meccan. Both are mentioned in al-Thahbi's Al-Mizan, 
where the author inaccurately quotes a statement pertaining to their being Shi' a seniors. 
Al'ala' the poet has composed poetry in praise of the Commander of the Faithful (as) which 
serves as irrefutable proof of his dedication and also highlights the truth about the Imam. He 
has also several poetic eulogies appreciated by Allah, His Messenger, and the believers. 

60. 'Alqamah ibn Qays ibn 'Abdullah al-Nakh'i, Abu Shibil 

He is uncle of al-Aswad and Ibrahim, sons of Yazid. He is also a follower of the Progeny of 

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Muhammad (pbuh). Al-Shahristani, in his Al-Milal wal-Nihal, has included him among 
Shi' a nobility. He is master among the traditionists mentioned by Abu Ishaq al-Jawzjani 
who spitefully says, "There has been a group of people among the residents of Kufa whose 
sect [of Shi'ism is not appreciated; they are the masters among Kufi traditionists." 'Alqamah 
and his brother 'Ali have been companions of 'Ali (as). They have both participated in Siffin 
where 'Ali was martyred. The latter used to be called "Abul-Salat" (man of the prayers) due 
to his quite frequent prayers. 'Alqamah drenched his sword with the blood of the oppressive 
gang. His foot slid, yet he continued to wage jihad in the way of Allah, remaining an enemy 
of Mu'awiyah till his death. Abu Bardah included 'Alqamah's name among the emissary to 
Mu'awiyah during the latter's reign, but 'Alqamah objected and even wrote to Abu Bardah 
saying: "Please remove my name (from the list); please do remove it." This is recorded by 
Ibn Sa'd in his biography of 'Alqamah on page 57, Vol. 6, of his Tabaqat. 

'Alqamah's fair-mindedness and prestige among Sunnis is undisputed in spite of their 
knowledge of his Shi' a beliefs. Authors of the six sahih books, as well as others, have all 
relied on his authority. Refer to his hadith in Muslim and Bukhari from Ibn Mas'ud, Abul- 
Darda'ah and 'Ayesha. His hadith about 'Uthman and Abu Mas'ud is recorded in Muslim's 
Sahih. In both sahih books, his hadith is narrated by his nephew Ibrahim al-Nakh'i. In 
Muslim's Sahih, his hadith is transmitted by 'Abdul-Rahman ibn Yazid, Ibrahim ibn Yazid, 
and al-Sha'bi. He died, may Allah have mercy on his soul, in 62 A.H. in Kufa. 

61. 'Ali ibn Badimah 

Al-Thahbi mentions him in his Al-Mizan quoting Ahmed ibn Hanbal saying, "He has 
reported authentic ahadith," that he is a pioneer of Shrism, that Ibn Ma' in has trusted him, 
that he narrates hadith from Makrimah and others, and that both Shu'bah and Mu'ammar 
have learned hadith from him. He marks his name to indicate that the authors of sunan have 
all quoted his hadith. 

62. 'Ali ibn al-Ja'd 

He is Abul-Hasan al-Jawhari al-Baghdadi, a slave of Banu Hashim. One of al-Bukhari's 
mentors, he is included by Qutaybah among notable Shi' as in his book Al-Ma^arif. His 
biography in Al-Mizan indicates that for sixty years, 'Ali used to fast every other day. Al- 
Qaysarani mentions him in his book Al-Jami" Bayna Rijalul Sahihain, stating that al- 
Bukhari alone has narrated twelve thousand ahadith reported by 'Ali ibn al-Ja'd. He died in 
203 at the age of 96. 

63. 'Ali ibn Zaid 

His full name is 'Ali ibn Zaid ibn 'Abdullah ibn Zuhayr ibn Abu Malika ibn Jad'an Abul- 
Hasan al-Qarashi al-Taymi al-Basri. Ahmed al-'Ajli has mentioned him saying that the man 
follows the Shi' a School of Muslim Law. Yazid ibn Zari' has said that 'Ali ibn Yazid has 
been a Rafidi. In spite of all this, the learned scholars among the tabVin, such as Shu'bah, 
'Abdul-Warith, and many of their peers, have all quoted his hadith. He is one of the three 
jurists for whom Basrah has acquired fame, the others are Qatadah and Ash'ath al-Hadani. 
They were all blind. When al-Hasan al-Basri died, they suggested to 'Ali to take his place 
due to his accomplishments. He was so prestigious that only renown dignitaries were his 
companions, something not too many Shi' as could enjoy during those days. 



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Al-Thahbi has mentioned him in his Al-Mizan stating the above facts about him. In his book 
Al-Jami" Bayna Rijalul Sahihain, al-Qaysarani states his biography and says that Muslim 
has quoted his hadith as reported by Thabit al-Banani, and that he has learned about jihad 
from Anas ibn Malik. He died, may Allah have mercy on him, in 131 A.H. 

64. Ali ibn Salih 

He is brother of al-Hasan ibn Salih. We have already said a word about his virtues when we 
recounted the biography of his brother al-Hasan. He is one of the early Shi' a scholars, just 
like his brother. In his chapter on sales, Muslim relies on his authority. 

"Ali ibn Salih has reported hadith from Salameh ibn Kahil, while Waki' has quoted him; 
they, too, are both Shi'as. He was born, may Allah be merciful unto his soul, and his twin 
brother al-Hasan, in 100 A.H., and he died in 151 A.H. 

65. 'Ali ibn Ghurab Abu Yahya al-Fazari al-Kufi 

Ibn Hayyan has described him as "an extremist Shi'a." Probably for this reason, al-Jawzjani 
drops him completely. Abu Dawud has said that 'Ali's hadith has been rejected, while both 
Ibn Ma" in and Dar Qutni trust him. Abu Hatim has said that there is nothing wrong with his 
hadith. Abu Zar'ah says he considers him truthful. Ahmed ibn Hanbal says, "I find him quite 
truthful." Ibn Ma" in describes him as "the poor man, the man of the truth," while al-Thahbi 
mentions him in his Al-Mizan quoting both pros and cons regarding his hadith as mentioned 
above, and marking his name with SQ to identify which authors of the sunan rely on his 
authority. He reports hadith from Hisham ibn 'Urwah and 'Ubaydullah ibn 'Umer. 

On page 273, Vol. 6, of his Tabaqat, Ibn Sa'd says the following about him: "Isma'il ibn 
Raja' quotes his hadith regarding what al-A'mash had said about 'Uthman." He died, may 
Allah have mercy on his soul, in Kufa in early Rabi'ul-Awwal 184, during Harun's regime. 

66. 'Ali ibn Qadim Abul-Hasan al-Khuza'i al-Kufi 

He is mentor of Ahmed ibn al-Furat, Ya'qub al-Faswi and a group of their peers who have 
all learned hadith from him and relied on his authority. Ibn Sa'd mentions him on page 282, 
Vol. 6, of his Tabaqat and describes him as an "extremist Shi'a." Probably for this reason 
alone that Yahya regards his hadith as "weak." Abu Hatim says that he is truthful. Al-Thahbi 
mentions him in his Al-Mizan, quoting the above stated views about him, and marking his 
name to indicate that Abu Dawud and al-Tirmithi have both quoted his hadith. His hadith is 
recorded in their books from Sa'id ibn Abu 'Urwah and Qatar. He died, may Allah be 
merciful unto his soul, in 213 A.H. during al-Ma'mun's regime. 

67. Ali ibn al-Munthir al-Tara'ifi 

He is professor of al-Tirmithi, al-Nisa'i, Ibn Sa'id, 'Abdul-Rahman ibn Abu Hatim, and 
other peers who have all learned hadith from him and relied on his authority. Al-Thahbi 
mentions him in his Al-Mizan, marking his name with TSQ as an indication of which authors 
of the sunan quote his hadith. He quotes the following from al-Nisa'i: '"Ali ibn al-Munthir is 
a staunch Shi' a, very trustworthy." He states that Ibn Hatim has said that the man is truthful 
and trustworthy, and that he reports hadith from Fudayl, Ibn 'Ayinah and al-Walid ibn 
Muslim. Al-Nisa'i testifies to the fact that he is "a staunch Shi' a," and that he relies on his 



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hadith which is recorded in both sahih books. This, indeed, provides food for thought for 
those who cast doubt about his reliability. Al-Munthir, may Allah be merciful unto his soul, 
died in 256 A.H. 

68. 'Ali ibn al-Hashim ibn al-Barid Abul-Hasan al-Kufi al-Khazzaz al-'Aithi 

He is one of Imam Ahmed's mentors. Abu Dawud mentions him and describes him as a 
"well-ascertained Shi'a." Ibn Haban says that he is an "Shi'a extremist." Ja'fer ibn Aban 
says, "I have heard Ibn Namir say that 'Ali ibn Hashim is extremist in his Shi'a beliefs." Al- 
Bukhari has said that both 'Ali ibn Hashim and his father are over-zealous in their Shi'a 
beliefs. Probably for this reason, al-Bukhari has rejected his hadith, but all other five authors 
of the sahih books have relied on his authority. Ibn Ma' in and others have trusted him, while 
Abu Dawud has included him among the most reliable traditionists. Abu Zar'ah has said that 
he is truthful, and al-Nisa'i has stated that there is nothing wrong with his hadith. Al-Thahbi 
mentions him in his Al-Mizan, quoting what we have already cited above. 

Al-Khatib al-Baghdadi, in a chapter dealing with 'Ali's character in his own Tarikh (history), 
Vol. 12, page 116, quotes Muhammad ibn Sulayman al-Baghindi saying that 'Ali ibn 
Hashim ibn al-Barid is truthful, a man who used to follow Shi'ism. He also quotes 
Muhammad ibn 'Ali al-Ajiri saying: "Once I asked Abu Dawud about 'Ali ibn Hashim ibn 
al-Barid. He suggested that I should ask 'Isa ibn Yunus. The latter has said: 'He belongs to 
those who call for Shi'ism.'" All of this is true. He also quotes al-Jawzjani saying that 
Hisham ibn al-Barid and his son 'Ali ibn Hashim are extremist in their "corrupt sect." 

In spite of all this, authors of five sahih books rely on 'Ali ibn Hashim. Refer to his hadith 
about marriage in Muslim's Sahih as reported by Hisham ibn 'Urwah, and in his chapter 
dealing with seeking permission as transmitted from Talha ibn Yahya. His hadith in 
Muslim's Sahih is transmitted by Abu Mu'ammar Isma'il ibn Ibrahim and 'Abdullah ibn 
Aban. Ahmed ibn Hanbal, too, has reported his hadith, in addition to both sons of Shaybah, 
and a group of their class of reporters whose mentor was none other than 'Ali ibn Hashim. 
Al-Thahbi says, "He died, may Allah have mercy on his soul, in 181 A.H.," adding, "His 
death is probably the earliest of those of Imam Ahmed's mentors." 

69. "Ammar ibn Zurayq al-Kufi 

Al-Sulaymani calls him "Rafidi," as al-Thahbi states while discussing "Ammar in his Al- 
Mizan. In spite of this allegation, Muslim, Abu Dawud and al-Nisa'i rely on his authority. 
Refer to his hadith in Muslim's Sahih as transmitted by al-A'mash, Abu Ishaq al-Subai'i, 
Mansur, and 'Abdullah ibn 'Isa. His hadith is reported in Muslim's Sahih by Abul-Jawab, 
Abul-Hawas Salam, Ibn Ahmed al-Zubayri, and Yahya ibn Adam. 

70. 'Ammar ibn Mu'awiyah, or Ibn Abu Mu'awiyah 

He is also called Khabab, or Ibn Salih al-Dihni al-Bijli al-Kufi, Abu Mu'awiyah. He is one 
of the Shi'a heroes who suffered a great deal of persecution while defending Muhammad's 
Progeny (as), so much so that Bishr ibn Marwan cut off his hamstrings only because he was 
a Shi'a. He is mentor of both Sufyans, in addition to Shu' bah, Sharik, and al-'Abar, who 
have all learned hadith from him and relied on his authority. Ahmed, Ibn Ma' in, Abu Hatim 
and other people have also relied on his authority. Muslim and four authors of sunan have 
quoted his hadith. Al-Thahbi has included his biography in his own Al-Mizan and quoted the 



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views stated above regarding his being a Shi' a and a trustworthy traditionist, adding that 
nobody had spoken ill of him except al-'Aqili, and that there was no fault in him other than 
his being a Shi' a. Refer to his hadith about the pilgrimage in Muslim's Sahih from Abul- 
Zubayr. He died in 133; may Allah have mercy on his oul. 

71. "Amr ibn 'Abdullah Abu Issaq al-Subai'i al-Hamadani al-Kufi 

He is Shi'a according to Ibn Qutaybah's Maarif, and Shahristani's Al-Milal wal Nihal. He 
was one of the masters of traditionists whose sect, in its roots and branches, the Nasibis do 
not appreciate due to the fact that Shi' as have followed in the footsteps of Ahl al-Bayt, 
deriving their method of worship from their own leadership in all religious matters. For this 
reason, al-Jawzjani has said in his biography of Zubayd in Al-Mizan: "Among the residents 
of Kufa, there is a group whose sect is not appreciated; they are the chiefs of Kufi 
traditionists such as Abu Ishaq, Mansur, Zubayd al-Yami, al-A'mash and other peers. People 
have tolerated them because of being truthful in narrating hadith, without adding aught of 
their own thereto." 

Among what the Nasibis have rejected of Abu Ishaq's hadith is this one: 

'"As the author of Al-Mizan indicates, Amr ibn Isma'il has quoted Abu Issaq saying that the 
Messenger of Allah (pbuh) has said, 'Ali is like a tree whose root I am, and whose branches 
are 'Ali, whose fruit are al-Hasan and al-Husayn, whose leaves are the Shi' as.'" 

In fact, al-Mughirah's statement "nobody caused the Kufis to perish except Abu Ishaq and 
al-A'mash" is uncalled for except for the fact that these men are Shi' as and are loyal to 
Muhammad's progeny (as). They have become custodians of all ahadith pertaining to the 
attributes of the latter, peace be upon them. They were oceans of knowledge, and they 
followed Allah's commandments. They are relied upon by the authors of all six sahih books 
and by others. Refer to Abu Ishaq's hadith in both sahih books from al-Bara' ibn 'Azib, 
Yazid ibn Arqam, Harithah ibn Wahab, Sulayman ibn Sard, al-Nu'man ibn Bashir, 
'Abdullah ibn Yazid al-Khadmi, and 'Amr ibn Maymun. 

He is quoted in both sahih books by Shu'bah, al-Thawri, Zuhayr, and by his grandson Yusuf 
ibn Ishaq ibn Abu Ishaq. Ibn Khallikan says in 'Amr's biography in Al-Wafiyyat that 'Amr 
was born three years before 'Uthman took charge of ruling the Muslims, and that he died 
either in 127 or in 128, or in 129, whereas both Yahya ibn Ma' in and al-Mada'ini say that he 
died in 132, and Allah knows best. 

72. 'Awf ibn Abu Jamila al-Basri, Abu Sahl 

He is well known as "al-A'rabi" [the bedouin], although his origin is really not from the 
desert. Al-Thahbi mentions him in his Al-Mizan and says that "He is also called 'Awf the 
Truthful, while some say that he follows Shi'ism; despite that, a group of scholars has 
trusted him." He also quotes Ja'fer ibn Sulayman describing him as Shi'a and quotes Bandar 
calling him "Rafidi." Ibn Qutaybah has included him in his own Al-Ma ^arif among Shi'a 
dignitaries. He has taught hadith to Ruh, Hawdah, Shu'bah, al-Nadr ibn Shamil, 'Uthman 
ibn al-Haytham and many others of their calibre. Authors of the six sahih books as well as 
others have all relied on his authority. Refer to his hadith in Bukhari's Sahih from al-Hasan 
and Sa'id, sons of al-Hasan al-Basri, Muhammad ibn Sirin and Siyar ibn Salamah. His 
hadith in Muslim's Sahih is transmitted by Al-Nadr ibn Shamil. His hadith from Abu Raji' 



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al-'Ataridi exists in both sahihs. He died, may Allah have mercy on him, in 146 A.H. 

73. Al-Fadl ibn Dakin 

His real name is 'Arm ibn Hammad ibn Zuhayr al-Malla'i al-Kufi, and he is well known by 
Abu Na'im. He is al-Bukhari's mentor, as the latter admits in his own Sahih. A group of elite 
scholars, like Ibn Qutaybah in his Al-Maarif, has included him among Shi'a dignitaries. Al- 
Thahbi mentions him in his Al-Mizan and says: "I have heard ibn Ma' in saying: 'If a man's 
name is mentioned in the presence of Abu Na'im and he calls him a good person and praises 
him, then rest assured that that person is a Shi'a; whereas if he labels someone as Murji', 
then rest assured that he is a good Sunni.'" Al-Thahbi says that this statement proves that 
Yahya ibn Ma' in inclines towards believing in the Return. It also proves that the man 
considers al-Fadl as a very staunch Shi' a. 

In his biography of Khalid ibn Mukhlid in his Al-Mizan, al-Thahbi quotes al-Jawzjani saying 
that Abu Na'im follows the Kufi sect, i.e. Shi'ism. To sum up, the fact that al-Fadl ibn 
Dakin is a Shi'a has never been disputed. Nevertheless, all authors of the six sahih books 
rely on him. Refer to his hadith in Bukhari's Sahih from Humam ibn Yahya, 'Abdul-' Aziz 
ibn Abu Salamah, Zakariyyah ibn Abu Za'idah, Hisham al-Distwa'i, al-A'mash, Misar, al- 
Thawri, Malik, Ibn 'Ayinah, Shaybah, and Zuhayr. His hadith in Muslim is transmitted by 
Saif ibn Abu Sulayman, Isma'il ibn Muslim, Abu 'Asim Muhammad ibn Ayyub al-Thaqafi, 
Abul Amis, Musa ibn 'Ali, Abu Shihab Musa ibn Nafi', Sufyan, Hisham ibn Sa'd, 'Abdul- 
Wahid ibn Ayman, and Isra'il. Al-Bukhari quotes him directly, while Muslim quotes his 
hadith as transmitted by Hajjaj ibn al-Sha'ir, 'Abd ibn Hamid, Ibn Abu Shaybah, Abu Sa'd 
al-Ashajj, Ibn Namir, 'Abdullah al-Darmi, Issaq al-Hanzali, and Zuhayr ibn Harb. 

He was born in 133, and he died in Kufa on a Thursday night on the last day of Sha'ban, 
210, during al-Mu'tasim's reign. Ibn Sa'd mentions him on page 279, Vol. 6, of his Tabaqat, 
describing him as "trustworthy, reliable, a man who has narrated a great deal of hadth, and 
an authority therein." 

74. Fadil ibn Marzuq al-Aghar al-Ruwasi al-Kufi, Abu "Abdul-Rahman 

Al-Thahbi mentions him in his Mizan and describes him as a well-known Shi'a, quoting 
Sufyan ibn 'Ayinah and Ibn Ma' in testifying to this fact. He quotes Ibn 'Adi saying that he 
hopes there is nothing wrong with the hadith he narrates, then he quotes al-Haytham ibn 
Jamil saying that the latter once mentioned Fadl ibn Marzuq once and described him as "one 
of the Imams of guidance." 

In his Sahih, Muslim relies on the authority of Fadil's ahadith which deals with prayers as 
transmitted by Shaqiq ibn 'Uqbah, and with zakat by 'Adi ibn Thabit. His hadith dealing 
with zakat as recorded by Muslim is transmitted by Yahya ibn Adam and Abu Usamah. In 
the sunan, his hadith is quoted by Waki', Yazid, Abu Na'im, 'Ali ibn al-Ja'd and many 
peers. Zayd ibn al-Habab has in fact lied regarding what he attributed to him of hadith 
dealing with the appointment of 'Ali (as) as Amr by the Prophet (pbuh). He died, may Allah 
have mercy on him, in 158. 

75. Fitr ibn Khalifah al-Hannat al-Kufi 

'Abdullah ibn Ahmed once asked his father about Fitr ibn Khalifah. He answered, "He is a 

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reporter of authentic hadith. His hadith reflects an attitude of a responsible person, but he 
also is a follower of Shi'ism." 'Abbas has quoted Ibn Ma' in saying that Fitr ibn Khalifah is a 
trusted Shi' a. Ahmed has said: "Fitr ibn Khalifah is trusted by Yahya, but he is an extremist 
Khashbi." Probably for this reason alone, Abu Bakr ibn 'Ayyash has said, "I have not 
abandoned the traditions reported by Fitr ibn Khalifah except because of his bad sect," i.e. 
for no fault in him other than his being a Shi' a. 

Al-Jawzjani says: "Fitr ibn Khalifah has deviated from the path." During his sickness, he 
was heard by Ja'fer al-Ahmar saying: "Nothing pleases me more than knowing that for each 
hair in my body there is an angel praising Allah Almighty on my behalf because of my love 
for Ahl al-Bayt, peace be upon them." Fitr ibn Khalifah narrates hadith from Abul-Tufayl, 
Abu Wa'il, and Mujahid. His hadith is quoted by Usamah, Yahya ibn Adam, Qabisah and 
others of the same calibre. Ahmed and others have trusted him. Murrah has said the 
following about him, "He is a responsible narrator of hadith who has memorized what he 
narrates by heart." Ibn Sa'd says, "He is, Insha- Allah, trustworthy." Al-Thahbi discusses him 
in his Mizan, stating the learned scholars' views, which have already been stated above, 
concerning his character. Ibn Sa'd has quoted the same on page 253, Vol. 6, of his Tabaqat. 

When Qutaybah mentions renown Shi' as in his Maarif, he includes Fitr ibn Khalifah among 
them. Al-Bukhari has quoted Fitr's hadith as narrated by Mujahid. Al-Thawri has quoted 
Fitr's hadith dealing with etiquette as recorded in al-Bukhari's work. Authors of the four 
sunan books, as well as others, have all quoted Fitr's hadith. He died, may Allah have mercy 
on him, in 153 A.H. 

76. Malik ibn Isma'il ibn Ziyad ibn Dirham Abu Hasan al-Kufi al-Hindi 

He is one of Bukhari's mentors as stated in the latter's Sahih. Ibn Sa'd mentions him on page 
282, Vol. 6, of his Tabaqat. He concludes by saying that "Abu Ghassan is trustworthy, 
truthful, a very staunch Shi' a." Al-Thahbi mentions him in his Mizan, which proves his 
reliability and prestige, stating that the man has learned the teachings of the sect of Shi'ism 
from his mentor al-Hasan ibn Salih, that Ibn Ma' in has said that nobody in Kufa is more 
accurate in reporting hadith than Abu Ghassan, and that Abu satim has said: "Whenever I 
look at him, he seems as though he has just left his grave, with two marks of prostration 
stamped on his forehead." 

Al-Bukhari has quoted him directly in many chapters of his Sahih. Muslim has quoted his 
hadith on criminal penalties in his own Sahih as transmitted by Harun ibn 'Abdullah. Those 
who narrate his hadith in Bukhari are: Ibn 'Ayinah, 'Abdul-Aziz ibn Abu Salamah, and 
Isra'il. Both al-Bukhari and Muslim quote his hadith from Zuhayr ibn Mu'awiyah. He died, 
may Allah have mercy on him, in Kufa in 219. 

77. Muhammad ibn Khazim 

He is very well known as Abu Mu'awiyah al-Darir al-Tamimi al-Kufi. Al-Thahbi mentions 
him saying, "Muhammad ibn Khazim al-Darir is confirmed, truthful; nowhere at all have I 
seen his hadith as weak; I shall discuss him in my chapter on kunayat." When the author 
mentions him in his said chapter, he states: "Abu Mu'awiyah al-Darir is one of the most 
renown and trustworthy Imams of hadith," and he goes on to say: "Al-Hakim has said that 
both Shaykhs rely on his authority, and he is famous for being an extremist Shi' a." 



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All authors of the six sahihs have relied on his authority. Al-Thahbi has marked his name 
with "A" to indicate that all traditionists rely on his authority. Refer to his hadith in 
Bukhari's and Muslim's Sahihs from al-A'mash and Hisham ibn 'Urwah. Muslim's Sahih 
contains other ahadith he has narrated through other trusted reporters. In Bukhari's Sahih, his 
hadith is reported by 'Ali ibn al-Madini, Muhammad ibn Salam, Yusuf ibn 'Isa, Qutaybah, 
and Musaddad. In Muslim's Sahih, he is quoted by Sa'd al-Wasiti, Sa'd ibn Mansur, "Amr 
al-Naqid, Ahmed ibn Sinan, Ibn Namir, Issaq al-Hanzali, Abu Bakr ibn Abu Shaybah, Abu 
Karib, Yahya ibn Yahya, and Zuhayr. Musa al-Zaman has reported his hadith in both sahihs. 
Muhammad ibn Khazim was born in 113, and he died in 195; may Allah be merciful unto 
him. 

78. Muhammad ibn 'Abdullah al-Dabi al-Tahani al-Nisaburi, Abu 'Abdullah al-Hakim 

He is an Imam of huffaz, those who memorize the entirety of the holy Qur'an and hadith by 
heart, and author of about one thousand books. He toured the lands seeking knowledge and 
learning hadith from about two thousand mentors. He may be compared with the most 
renown scholars of his time such as al-Sa'luki. Imam ibn Furk and all other Imams consider 
his status to be superior even to their own. They appreciate him and his contributions; they 
cherish his name and reputation, without doubting his mastership at all. All learned Sunni 
scholars who could not achieve as much as he did envy him. He is one of the Shi' a heroes, a 
protector of the Islamic Shari'a. 

The author of Al-Mizan narrates his biography and describes him as "a truthful Imam, a very 
renown Shi'a." He quotes Ibn Tahir saying: "I once asked Abu Isma'il 'Abdullah al-Ansari 
about al-Hakim Abu Abdullah. He said: 'He is an Imam in hadith, a wretched Rafidi.'" Al- 
Thahbi has recounted a few of his interesting statements such as his saying that the Chosen 
One (pbuh) came to the world circumcised, with a smile on his face, and that 'Ali (as) is a 
wasi. The author adds the following: "His being truthful and knowledgeable of what he 
reports is a unanimously accepted fact." He was born in Rabi' al-Awwal of 321, and he died 
in Safar of 405, may Allah have mercy on his soul. 

79. Muhammad ibn 'Ubaydullah ibn Abu Raff al-Madani 

He, Abu 'Ubaydullah, his brothers al-Fadl and 'Abdullah sons of 'Ubaydullah, his 
grandfather Abu Rafi', his uncles Rafi', al-Hasan, al-Mughirah, 'Ali, and their sons as well 
as grandsons, are all among good Shi' a ancestors. The books they have authored testify to 
the depth of their Shi' a conviction, as we have mentioned in Section 2, Chapter 12, of our 
book Al-Fusul al-Muhimmah. 

Ibn 'Uday mentions Muhammad ibn 'Ubaydullah ibn Abu Rafi' al-Madani, adding, at the 
conclusion of his biography in the Mizan, that the man is among Kufi Shi' as. When al- 
Thahbi states his biography in his own Mizan, he marks it with TQ as an indication of which 
authors of the sunan books quote his hadith (i.e. Tirmithi and Dar Qutni). He also mentions 
that he quotes his father and grandfather, and that Mandil and 'Ali ibn Hashim quote his 
hadith. His hadith is also quoted by Haban ibn 'Ali, Yahya ibn Ya'li and others. Muhammad 
ibn 'Ubaydullah ibn Abu Rafi' al-Madani may have also reported hadith from his brother 
'Abdullah ibn 'Ubaydullah who is well known as a traditionist by researchers of hadith. Al- 
Tabarani in his Al-Mu"jam al-Kabir has relied on the authority of Muhammad ibn 
'Ubaydullah ibn Abu Rafi' al-Madani who quotes his father and grandfather saying that the 
Messenger of Allah (pbuh) has said to 'Ali (as), "The first to enter Paradise will be I and 



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you, then al-Hasan and al-Husayn, with our progeny behind us, and our Shi" as on our right 
and left." 

80. Muhammad ibn Fudayl ibn Ghazwan Abu "Abdul-Rahman al-Kufi 

Ibn Qutaybah has included him among Shi" a dignitaries in his work Al-Maarif, and Ibn 
Sa"d has mentioned him on page 271, Vol. 6, of his Tabaqat, saying, "He is a trustworthy 
and reliable traditionist who as reported a great deal of hadith; he also is a Shi" a, and some 
scholars [for this reason] do not rely on his authority." Al-Thahbi has mentioned him in his 
chapter containing those well-known because of their fathers' reputation at the conclusion of 
his Mizan, describing him as a truthful Shi" a. He also mentions him in his chapter containing 
those whose first name is Muhammad, describing him as "a man of truth and fame," adding 
that Ahmed has described him as a Shi" a whose hadith is authentic, and that Abu Dawud has 
described him as a "Shi"a by profession" (!), adding that he was a man of hadith and 
knowledge, that he learned the Qur'an from Hamzah, that he has written numerous books, 
and that Ibn Ma" in has trusted him and Ahmed spoken well of him. Al-Nisa'i has said that 
there is nothing wrong with his hadith. 

Authors of the six sahih books, as well as many others, have relied on his authority. Refer to 
his hadith in Bukhari as transmitted by Muhammad ibn Namir, Ishaq al-Hanzali, Ibn Abu 
Shaybah, Muhammad ibn Salam, Qutaybah, "Umran ibn Maysarah, and "Amr ibn "Ali. His 
hadith is transmitted in Bukhari by "Abdullah ibn "Amir, Abu Karib, Muhammad ibn Tarf, 
Wasil ibn "Abd al-A"la, Zuhayr, Abu Sa"d al-Ashajj, Muhammad ibn Yazid, Muhammad ibn 
al-Muthanna, Ahmed al-Wak"i, and "Abdul-" Aziz ibn "Umer ibn Aban. He died, may Allah 
have mercy on him, in Kufa in 194 or 195 A.H. 

81. Muhammad ibn Muslim ibn al-Ta'ifi 

He was one of the most disginguished companions of Imam Abu "Abdullah al-Sadiq, peace 
be upon him. Shaykh al-Ta'ifa Abu Ja"fer al-Tusi has mentioned him in his book Rijal al- 
ShPa, and al-Hasan ibn "Ali ibn Dawud has included him in his chapter on the most 
trustworthy traditionists in his book Al-Mukhtasar. Al-Thahbi includes his biography and 
quotes Yahya ibn Ma" in and others who say that the man is truthful. He adds saying that al- 
Qa"nabi, Yahya ibn Yahya, and Qutaybah have all transmitted his traditions, and that 
"Abdul-Rahman ibn Mahdi once mentioned Muhammad ibn Muslim ibn al-Ta'ifi and said: 
"His books [of traditions] are all authentic," and that Ma"ruf ibn Wasil said: "I saw Sufyan 
al-Thawri once accompanied by Muhammad ibn Muslim ibn al-Ta'ifi who was writing down 
his hadith." Yet those who have labelled his hadith as "weak" have done so only on the 
grounds of his being a Shi" a, although their prejudice has not at all harmed him. His hadith 
from "Amr ibn Dinar about ablution exists in Muslim's Sahih. According to Ibn Sa"d's 
Tabaqat, as stated on page 381, Vol. 5, his hadith is quoted by Waki" ibn al-Jarrah and one 
hundred others. In that year, his name-sake Muhammad ibn Muslim ibn Jummaz died in 
Medina. Ibn Sa"d has included both of their biographies in Vol. 5 of his Tabaqat. 

82. Muhammad ibn Musa ibn "Abdullah al-Qatari al-Madani 

Al-Thahbi has mentioned him in his Mizan quoting Abu Hatim testifying to his being a 
Shi" a. He also quotes al-Tirmithi saying that the man is trustworthy, and he even marks his 
name with the initials of Muslim and the authors of sunan as an indication of their reliance 
on his authority. Refer to his hadith about foods in Muslim's Sahih transmitted from 



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v Abdullah ibn "Abdullah ibn Abu Talha. He is also quoted by al-Maqbari and a group of his 
peers. Others who have quoted his hadith are: Ibn Abu Fadik, Ibn Mahdi, Qutaybah, and 
others of their intellectual calibre. 

83. MiTawiyah ibn 'Amraar al-Dihni al-Bajli al-Kufi 

He is among our highly respected and revered Shi" as, prestigious and trustworthy. His father 
"Ammar is a good example for perseverence and persistence in adhering to the principles of 
justice, a model Allah has brought forth for those who are patient while suffering for His 
Cause. A few tyrants cut off his hamstrings because of being a Shi"a, as we have indicated 
above, without succeeding in swaying him, till he left this world to receive his rewards. His 
son Mu"awiyah was meted the same treatment, and the father is but a model for the son. He 
has accompanied Imams al-Sadiq and al-Kazim, peace be upon them, and learned from them 
a great deal. He has authored many books - as indicated above - and he is quoted by Shi" a 
reporters such as Ibn Abu "Umayr and others. Muslim and al-Nisa'i have relied on his 
authority. His hadith about hajj is quoted in Muslim's Sahih by al-Zubayr. In Muslim, he is 
quoted by both Yahya ibn Yahya and Qutaybah. He has also narrated hadith from his father 
"Ammar, and from a group of his peers, and such ahadith exist in Sunni musnads. He died, 
may Allah have mercy on him, in 175 A.H. 

84. Maruf ibn Kharbuth al-Karkhiri61 

Al-Thahbi describes him in his Mizan as "a truthful Shi" a," marking his name with the 
initials of al-Bukhari, Muslim, and Abu Dawud to indicate that they all quote his hadith. He 
also quotes Abul Tufayl saying that Ma"ruf narrates a few ahadith. His hadith is narrated by 
Abu "Asim, Abu Dawud, "Ubaydullah ibn Musa and others. He also quotes Abu Hatim 
saying that the latter writes down his hadith. 

Ibn Khallikan mentions him in his Wafiyyat and describes him as one of the servants of "AH 
ibn Musa al-Rida, peace be upon him. He goes on to praise him, quoting a statement of his 
in which he says, "I have come unto the Almighty Allah, leaving everything behind me, with 
the exception of serving my master "Ali ibn Musa al-Rida, peace be upon him." When Ibn 
Qutaybah discusses a few Shi" a notables in his work Al-Maarif, he includes Ma"ruf ibn 
Kharbuth among them. Muslim has relied on the authority of Ma"ruf ibn Kharbuth; refer to 
his hadith about hajj in his sahih from Abul Tufayl. He died in Baghdad in 200 A.H.; |T71 his 
grave-site is now a mausoleum. Sirri al-Saqti was one of his students. 

85. Mansur ibn al-Mu"tamir ibn "Abdullah ibn Rabiah al-Salami al-Kufi 

He is one of the companions of Imams al-Baqir and al-Sadiq (as), and he has narrated hadith 
from them, as the author of Muntahal Maqal fi Ahwal al-Rijal states. Ibn Qutaybah includes 
him among Shi" a nobility in his book Al-Ma^arif. Al-Jawzjani has included him among the 
narrators "whose sect is not appreciated by [certain] people" in the roots and branches of 
religion, due to their adherence to what they have learned from Muhammad's progeny (as). 
Says he: "Among the people of Kufa there is a group whose sect is not appreciated; these are 
chiefs of Kufa's traditionists such as Abu Ishaq, Mansur, Zubayd al-Yami, al-A"mash and 
other peers. People have tolerated them just because they are truthful in narrating 
hadith. "£181 Why do they bear so much grudge against these truthful men? Is it because of 
their upholding the Two Weighty Things? Or their embarking upon the Ark of Salvation? Or 
their entring into the city of the Prophet's knowledge through its Gate, the Gate of 



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Repentance? Or is it their seeking refuge with the "Refuge of all the world"? Or is it their 
obedience to the Prophet's will to be kind unto his descendants? Or is it their heart's 
submission to Allah and their weeping for fear of Him, as is well known about them? 

Stating the biography of Mansur ibn al-Mu'tamir ibn 'Abdullah ibn Rabi'ah, Ibn Sa'd says 
the following about Mansur on page 235 of Vol. 6 of his Tabaqat: "He has lost his eye-sight 
because of excessive weeping for fear of Allah. He used to carry a handkerchief for the 
purpose of drying his tears. Some allege that he fasted and prayed for sixty years." Can a 
man of such qualities be a burden on people? No, indeed, but we have been inflicted by 
some people who do not know what fairness is; so, we are Allah's, and unto Him is our 
return. 

In his biography of Mansur ibn al-Mu'tamir ibn 'Abdullah ibn Rabi'ah, Ibn Sa'd also quotes 
Hammad ibn Zayd saying, "I have seen Mansur in Mecca, and I think he belongs to those 
Khashbis, yet I do not think that he tells a lie when he quotes hadith." Behold the 
underestimation, grudge, contempt and manifest enmity this statement bears. How surprised 
I am when I consider his statement: "I do not think that he tells lies..." As if telling lies is one 
of the practices of those who are sincere to Muhammad's progeny. As if Mansur alone is 
truthful, rather than all other Shi' a traditionists. Name-calling... As if the Nasibis could not 
find a name whereby they can call the Shi v as other than misnomers such as Khashbis, 
Turabis, Rafidis, etc. As if they have never heard the Almighty's Commandment: "And do 
not exchange bad names; what an evil it is to use a bad name after having accepted faith 
(Qur'an, 49:11)." Ibn Qutaybah has mentioned the "Khashbis" in his book Al-Maarif and 
said: "These are Rafidis. Ibrahim al-Ashtar met 'Ubaydullah ibn Ziyad in the battle-field. 
Most of Ibrahim's men had guaiacum wood panels; therefore, they were labelled 'khashbis,' 
men associated with paneling, out of scorn." In fact, they called them so just to humiliate 
them and look down upon them and their wooden weapons with which they were able to 
beat Ibn Marjanah, predecessor of the Nasibis, thus annihilating those heretics, murderers of 
Muhammad's progeny. "Allah has cut off the tail of those who committed injustice; all 
praise be to Allah, Lord of the Worlds (Qur'an, 6:45)." There is no harm, therefore, in this 
noble name, nor is there any harm in its synonyms like Turabis, after Abu Turab (Imam 'Ali, 
as); we are proud of it. 

We have digressed. Let us go back to our main topic and state that it is the consensus of 
traditionists to rely on Mansur. For this reason, all authors of the six sahih books, as well as 
others, rely on his authority, knowing that he is Shi'a. Refer to his hadith in Bukhari's and 
Muslim's Sahihs from Abu Wa'il, Abul Duha, Ibrahim al-Nakh'i and other peers. He quotes 
Shu'bah, al-Thawri, Ibn 'Ayinah, Hammad ibn Zayd and others who are the most 
distinguished of that class of reporters of hadith. Ibn Sa'd has said that Mansur's death took 
place at the end of the year 132, adding, "He is a trusted authority who has reported a great 
deal of hadith; he is a man of sublime prestige; may Allah have mercy on him." 

86. Al-Minhal ibn 'Amr al-Kufi, the tabVi 

He is one of the renown Shi' as of Kufa. For this reason, al-Jawzjani has categorized his 
hadith as "weak," describing him as a "follower of the bad sect." Ibn Hazm has spoken ill of 
him in the same manner, and Yahya ibn Sa'd, too, chews his name. Ahmed ibn Hanbal states 
contrariwise. He says: "Abu Bishr is more dear to me than a sweet cool fountain, and he is 
more reliable than others." 



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In spite of being a staunch Shi' a, stating so in public even during the time of al-Mukhtar, he 
is not doubted by scholars regarding the accuracy of his hadith. He is quoted by Shu"bah, al- 
Mas"udi, al-Hajjaj ibn Arta'ah, and many peers of their intellectual calibre. He is trusted by 
Ibn Ma' in, Ahmed al-"Ijli and others. In his Mizan, al-Thahbi quotes their assessment of the 
man as we have stated above, marking his name with the initials of Bukhari and Muslim as 
an indication that they both consider his hadith reliable. Refer to his hadith in Bukhari's 
Sahih from Sa"id ibn Jubayr. In Bukhari's Sahih, in the author's section on Tafsir, his hadith 
is transmitted by Zayd ibn Abu Anisa. Al-Mansur ibn al-Mu"tamir has quoted him in a 
chapter on prophets. 

87. Musa ibn Qays al-Hadrami, Abu Muhammad 

Al-"Aqili describes him as an "extremist Rafidi." Once, Sufyan asked him about Abu Bakr. 
He answered: ""Ali is more dear to me." Musa ibn Qays reports hadith from Salamah ibn 
Kahil, Iyad ibn Iyad, ending with Malik ibn Ja"na reporting that "I heard Umm Salamah 
saying that "Ali is with the truth; whoever follows him is a follower of the truth, and 
whoever abandons him certainly abandons the truth; this is decreed." This has been narrated 
by Abu Na"im al-Fadl ibn Dakin from Musa ibn Qays. Musa ibn Qays has reported hadith 
praising Ahl al-Bayt in volumes which angered al-"Aqili who said to him what he said. Ibn 
Ma' in has trusted and relied on him. Abu Dawud and Sa"d ibn Mansur have both relied on 
his authority in their respective sunan. Al-Thahbi has included his biography in his own 
Mizan, stating about him what we have already stated above. Refer to his hadith in the sunan 
from Salamah ibn Kahil and Hajar ibn "Anbasah. His hadith is transmitted by Dakin, 
"Ubaydullah ibn Musa and other reliable authorities. He died, may Allah have mercy on 
him, during the reign of al-Mansur. 

88. Naif ibn al-Harith Abu Dawud al-NakhM al-Kufi al-Hamadani al-SubayM 

Al-"Aqili described him as being an "extremist Rafidi." Al-Bukhari says: "People speak ill 
of him [because of being a Shi" a]." Sufyan, Hamam, Sharik and a group of the most renown 
scholars of such calibre have all quoted him. Al-Tirmithi relies on him in his own sahih. 
Authors of musnads have all recorded his hadith. Refer to his hadith in Tirmithi and others 
from Anas ibn Malik, Ibn "Abbas, "Umran ibn Hasin and Zayd ibn Arqam. Al-Thahbi has 
included his biography and stated what we have already said above. 

89. Nuh ibn Qays ibn Rabah al-Hadani 

He is also known as al-Tahi al-Basri. Al-Thahbi mentions him in his Mizan, describing his 
hadith as authentic, adding that Ahmed and Ibn Ma" in trust him. He also quotes Abu Dawud 
saying that the man is a Shi" a. Al-Nisa'i has said that there is nothing wrong with his hadith, 
putting on his name the initials of Muslim and authors of the sunan as an indication that they 
all quote his hadith. In Muslim's Sahih, his ahadith about beverages are quoted by Ibn "Awn. 
His ahadith on the dress codes exist in Muslim's Sahih, too, as narrated by his brother Khalid 
ibn Qays. In Muslim, he is quoted by Nasr ibn "Ali. In works other than Muslim's, his hadith 
is quoted by al-Ash"ath and by many others of his calibre. Nuh ibn Qays ibn Rabah reports 
from Ayyub, " Amr ibn Malik and a group of other men. 

90. Harun ibn Sa d al- Ijli al-Kufi 

Al-Thahbi mentions him and puts Muslim's initial on his name as an indication that the latter 

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quotes him, then he describes him as "truthful in his own right," but he also calls him "a 
hated Rafidi" who narrates from v Abbas from Ibn Ma' in that he is an extremist Shi'a. He has 
learned hadith from 'Abdul-Rahman ibn Abu Sa'id al-Khudri, who in turn quotes 
Muhammad ibn Abu Hafs al- v Attar, al-Mas'udi, and Hasan ibn Hayy. Abu Hatim says that 
there is nothing wrong with his hadith. I remember one of his ahadith which describes Hell- 
fire; it is recorded in Muslim's Sahih as narrated by al-Hasan ibn Salih from Harun ibn Sa'd 
al- v Ijli, from Salman. 

91. Hashim ibn al-Barid ibn Zayd Abu "AH al-Kufi 

Al-Thahbi mentions him and puts the initials of Abu Dawud and al-Nisa'i on his name to 
indicate that he is one of their authorities, quoting Ibn Ma' in and others testifying to his 
being trustworthy, in addition to his own testimony to being a "Rafidi." He quotes Ahmed 
saying that there is nothing wrong with his hadith. Hashim narrates hadith from Zayd ibn 
'Ali and Muslim al-Batin, and he is quoted by al-Kharibi and his son 'Ali ibn Hashim, to 
whom we referred above, in addition to a group of other renown scholars. Hashim adhered 
to Shrism, and this has been made clear when we discussed "Ali ibn Hashim. 

92. Hubayrah ibn Maryam al-Himyari 

He is one of the companions of Imam v Ali (as), equal only to al-Harith in his sincerity as 
well as companionship. Al-Thahbi mentions him and puts on his name the initials of the 
authors of sunan books as a reference to his being one of the authorities of their musnads, 
then he quotes Ahmed saying, "There is nothing wrong with his hadith, and he is more dear 
to us than al-Harith." Al-Thahbi quotes Ibn Kharash describing Hubayrah as "weak; he used 
to assault the wounded in Siffin." Al-Jawzjani says the following about him: "He is a 
follower of al-Mukhtar who used to put an end to the life of those wounded in the Khazir 
Battle." 

Al-Shahristani, in his book Al-Milal wal Nihal, has included him among Shi' a notables, a 
fact taken for granted by everyone. His hadith from 'Ali (as) is unquestioned in the sunan, 
and he is quoted by both Abu Ishaq and Au Fakhita." 

93. Hisham ibn Ziyad Abul Miqdam al-Basri 

Al-Shahristani has included him in his Al-Milal wal Nihal among Shfa notables. Al-Thahbi 
mentions him twice: once under his alphabetical index, and once in his chapter on kunayat, 
placing a Q on his name to indicate that Dar Qutni of the sunan relies on his authority. Refer 
to his hadith in Tirmithi's Sahih and other works as transmitted from al-Hasan and al-Qardi. 
He is quoted by Shayban ibn Farukh, al-Qawariri and others. 

94. Hisham ibn 'Ammar ibn Nasr ibn Maysarah, Abu al-Walid 

He is also called al-Zafri al-Dimashqi. He is one of Bukhari's mentors as the latter states in 
his Sahih. Ibn Qutaybah includes him among Shfa notables when he mentions quite a few 
of them in his chapter on sects in Al-Ma^arif. Al-Thahbi mentions him in his Mizan, 
describing him as "the Imam, orator, and reciter of the Holy Qur'an of Damascus, its 
traditionist and scholar, a man of truth who has narrated a great deal of hadith, though he has 
a few [ideological] defects, etc." 



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Al-Bukhari quotes him directly in his chapter on "those who voluntarily grant extensions for 
repayment of debt" in his chapter on sales in his sahih and in other chapters with which 
researchers are familiar. Some of such chapters, I believe, are his books Al-Maghazi, his 
book on beverages, and his chapter on the attributes of the companions of the Prophet 
(pbuh). Hisham ibn "Ammar narrates hadith from Yahya ibn Hamzah, Sadaqah ibn Khalid, 
'Abdul-Hamid ibn Abul 'Ishrin and others. The author of Al-Mizan says: "Many quote his 
hadith; they travel to his place to learn from him how to recite the Holy Qur'an and the 
narration of hadith. His hadith is quoted by al-Walid ibn Muslim, one of his mentors, while 
he himself narrates from Abu Lahi'ah. 'Abdan has said that there is no traditionist like him 
in the world, while someone else has said that Hisham is outspoken, wise, easy to 
comprehend, and he has acquired a great deal of knowledge." 

Like other Shi' as, Hisham ibn "Ammar believes that the Qur'anic diction is created only by 
Allah Almighty. When Ahmed [ibn Hanbal] heard about this, as the author of Al-Mizan 
states in his biography of Hisham ibn "Ammar, he responded by saying, "I have known him 
to be wreckless; may Allah annihilate him." Ahmed has also come across a book written by 
Hisham in which one of the latter's sermons says: "Praise be to Allah Who has manifested 
Himself unto his creatures through what He has created." This caused Ahmed to be 
extremely furious, so much so that he required all those who used to pray behind Hisham to 
repeat their prayers. Ahmed could not see that Hisham's statement is very clear in stating 
that Allah is superior to being seen, glorified above those who inquire about Him with 
"how" or "where," appreciative of His norm of creation. His statement may be compared 
with one saying: "He has manifested His miracles in everything He has created," or it may 
even be more pertinent and fitting than the latter; but scholars of the same calibre speak of 
each other in the light of their own likes and dislikes, each according to his own degree of 
knowledge. Hisham ibn "Ammar was born in 153, and he died at the commencement of 
Muharram of 245 A.H.; may Allah have mercy on him. 

95. Hashim ibn Bashir ibn al-Qasim ibn Dinar al-Wasiti, Abu Mu'awiyah 

His birth-place is Balkh. His grandfather al-Qasim had moved to Wasit to engage in trade. 
Ibn Qutaybah includes him in his Al-Maarif among Shi' a nobility. He is mentor of Imam 
Ahmed ibn Hanbal and all those of his calibre. Al-Thahbi has mentioned him in his book Al- 
Mizan, marking his name with an indication that all authors of the six sahih books rely on 
his authority, and describing him as one who knows the Holy Qur'an by heart. Says al- 
Thahbi: "He is one of the most renown scholars. He learned hadith from al-Zuhri and Hasan 
ibn 'Abdul-Rahman. His hadith is quoted in turn by al-Qattan, Ahmed, Ya'qub al-Dawraqi, 
and by many others." 

Refer to his hadith in Bukhari's and Muslim's Sahih books as transmitted by Hamid al-Tawil, 
Isma'il ibn Abu Khalid, Abu Ihaq al-Shaybani, and by others. He is quoted in both books by 
'Umer, al-Naqid, 'Arm ibn Zararah, and Sa'id ibn Sulayman. In Bukhari, his hadith is 
quoted by 'Arm ibn 'Awf, Sa'd ibn al-Nadir, Muhammad ibn Nabahan, 'Ali ibn al-Madini, 
and Qutaybah. In Muslim, he is quoted by Ahmed ibn Hanbal, Shurayh, Ya'qub al-Dawraqi, 
'Abdullah ibn Mu'it', Yahya ibn Yahya, Sa'id ibn Mansur, Ibn Abu Shaybah, Isma'il ibn 
Salim, Muhammad ibn al-Sabah, Dawud ibn Rashid, Ahmed ibn Mani', Yahya ibn Ayyub, 
Zuhayr ibn Harb, 'Uthman ibn Abu Shaybah, 'Ali ibn Hajar, and Yazid ibn Harun. He died, 
may Allah have mercy on him, in Baghdad in 183 A.H. at the age of 79. 



Sayyid 'Abd al-Husayn Sharaf al-Din al-Musawi 



Al-Muraja'at 105 
Shi'i-Sunni dialogue 



96. Wakf ibn al-Jarrah ibn Malih ibn "Adi 



His kunyat is "Abu Sufyan," after his son Sufyan al-Ruwasi al-Kufi. He belongs to the tribe 
of Qays Ghilan. In his Maarif, Ibn Qutaybah includes him among Shi' a notables. In his 
book titled Tahthib, Ibn al-Madani has said that Wakf adheres to Shi' ism. Marwan ibn 
Mu'awiyah never doubted that Wakf was "Rafidi." 

Once, Yahya ibn Ma' in visited Marwan and found him with a tablet containing statements 
about this person and that. Among its contents was a statement describing Wakf as Rafidi. 
Ibn Ma' in said to Marwan: "Waki' is better than you." "Better than me?!" exclaimed 
Marwan. Ibn Ma' in answered: "Yes, better than you." Ibn Ma' in indicates that Waki' came 
to know about this dialogue and he responded by saying, "Yahya is a friend of ours." Ahmed 
ibn Hanbal was asked once, "If there is a discrepancy in narrating hadith between Waki' and 
Abdul-Rahman ibn Mahdi, whose hadith shall we accept?" Ahmed answered that he 
personally preferred 'Abdul-Rahman's hadith for reasons which he stated. Among them was 
this one: '"Abdul-Rahman never speaks in a derogatory manner about our ancestors, unlike 
Waki' ibn al-Jarrah." This is supported by a statement recorded by al-Thahbi at the 
conclusion of his biography of al-Hasan ibn Salih wherein he says that Waki' used to say: 
"Al-Hasan ibn Salih, in my view, is an Imam of hadith." Some people said to him, "But he 
does not invoke Allah's mercy on 'Uthman." He said, "Do you invoke Allah's mercy upon 
al-Hajjaj's soul?" thus equating 'Uthman with al-Hajjaj. 

Al-Thahbi has mentioned him in his book Al-Mizan stating the above views about him. All 
authors of the six sahih books as well as others rely on his authority. Refer to his hadith in 
Bukhari's and Muslim's Sahih books as transmitted by al-A'mash, al-Thawri, Shu'bah, 
Isma'il ibn Abu Khalid, and 'Ali ibn al-Mubarak. He is quoted in both books by Ishaq al- 
Hanzali and Muhammad ibn Namir. Al-Bukhari quotes his hadith as transmitted by 
'Abdullah al-Hamidi, Muhammad ibn Salam, Yahya ibn Ja'fer ibn A'yan, Yahya ibn Musa, 
and Muhammad ibn Muqatil. In Muslim's book, he is quoted by Zuhayr, Ibn Abu Shaybah, 
Abu Karib, Abu Sa'd al-Ashajj, Nasr ibn 'Ali, Sa'd ibn Azhar, Ibn Abu 'Umer, 'Ali ibn 
Kashram, 'Uthman ibn Abu Shaybah, and Qutaybah ibn Sa'd. He died, may Allah have 
mercy on his soul, in Fid when he was in the company of a caravan returning from the 
pilgrimage, in Muharram of 197 A.H. at the age of 68. 

97. Yahya ibn al-Jazzar al-'Arni al-Kufi 

He is one of the companions of the Commander of the Faithful, peace be upon him. Al- 
Thahbi mentions him in his book Al-Mizan and marks his name to indicate that Muslim and 
authors of the sunan rely on his authority, describing him as "truthful" and "trustworthy," 
and quoting al-Hakam ibn Atbah saying that Yahya ibn al-Jazzar is "extremist" in his Shi' a 
views. Ibn Sa'd has mentioned him on page 206, Vol. 6, of his Tabaqat saying: "Yahya ibn 
al-Jazzar adheres to Shi'ism, and he goes to extremes in doing so; yet many have said that he 
is trustworthy, and that he narrates many ahadith." 

I have seen how Muslim's Sahih contains one hadith about prayers which he narrates from 
'Ali, and another about faith transmitted from 'Abdul-Rahman ibn Abu Layla. Al-Hakam 
ibn 'Utayba and al-Hasan al-'Urfi quote his hadith in Muslim and others. 

98. Yahya ibn Sa id al-Qattan 



Sayyid 'Abd al-Husayn Sharaf al-Din al-Musawi 



Al-Muraja'at 106 
Shi'i-Sunni dialogue 

His kunyat is "Abu Sa'id." He is a slave of Banu Tamim al-Basri, and he is the most renown 
traditionist of his time. Qutaybah has included him in his Ma ^arif among Shi'a notables. 
Authors of the six sahih books and others have relied on his authority. His hadith from 
Hisham ibn 'Urwah, Hamid al-Tawil, Yahya ibn Sa'id al-Ansari and others stands on solid 
grounds in Bukhari, Musaddad, 'Ali ibn al-Madini and Bayan ibn 'Arm. In Muslim's book, 
his hadith is transmitted by Muhammad ibn Hatim, Muhammad ibn Khalad al-Bahili, Abu 
Kamil Fadl ibn Husayn al-Jahdari, Muhammad al-Muqaddimi, 'Abdullah ibn Hashim, Abu 
Bakr ibn Abu Shaybah, 'Abdullah ibn Sa'd, Ahmed ibn Hanbal, Ya'qub al-Dawraqi, Ahmed 
ibn 'Abdah, 'Arm ibn 'Ali, and 'Abdul-Rahman ibn Bishr. He died, may Allah Almighty 
have mercy on him, in 198 A.H. at the age of 78. 

99. Yazid ibn Ziyad al-Kufi, Abu Abdullah 

He is a slave of Banu Hashim. Al-Thahbi mentions him in his book Al-Mizan, placing on his 
name the initials of Muslim and four authors of sunan to indicate that they quote him. He 
cites Abu Fadl saying: "Yazid ibn Ziyad is one of the foremost Shi'a Imams." Al-Thahbi has 
admitted that he is one of the renown Kufi scholars. In spite of all this, many have assaulted 
him, preparing against him all means of belittling and charging due to the fact that, relying 
on Abu Barzah or maybe Abu Bardah, he has narrated one hadith stating the following: "We 
were in the company of the Prophet (pbuh) when some singing was heard. Then 'Arm ibn 
al-'Aas and Mu'aiyah came singing. The Prophet (pbuh) said: 'O Mighty Lord! Involve both 
of these men in dissension, and hurl them in Hell-fire.'" Refer to his hadith on beverages in 
Muslim's Sahih from 'Abdul-Rahman ibn Abu Layla as reported from him by Sufyan ibn 
'Ayinah. He died, may Allah Almighty have mercy on him, in 136 at the age of about 
ninety. 

100. Abu Abdullah al-Jadali 

Al-Thahbi has mentioned him in his chapter on kunayat, placing on his name "DT" to 
indicate that he is among those relied upon by both Dawud and Tirmithi in their sahih 
books, then he describes him as an "abhorred Shi'a." He quotes al-Jawzjani saying that the 
man is the standard-bearer of al-Mukhtar. He also quotes Ahmed describing him as 
"trustworthy." Al-Shahristani has included him among Shi'a dignitaries in his book Al-Milal 
wal Nihal. Ibn Qutaybah has included him among the most zealous of "Rafidis" in his book 
Al-Ma^arif. Refer to his hadith in both Tirmithi's and Abu Dawud's sahih books as well as 
all Sunni musnads. 

Ibn Sa'd mentions him on page 159, Vol. 6, of his Tabaqat where he says that, "Abu 
'Abdullah al-Jadali is a very zealous Shi'a. Some allege that he headed al-Mukhtar's police 
force, and that he was sent once to 'Abdullah ibn al-Zubayr accompanied by eight hundred 
men to annihilate them and support Muhammad ibn al-Hanafiyyah against Ibn al-Zubayr's 
scheme." Ibn al-Zubayr, in fact, had enforced a siege around the houses of Ibn al- 
Hanafiyyah and Banu Hashim, surrounding them with fire wood in preparation for burning 
them alive because of refusing to swear the oath of allegiance to him, but Abu 'Abdullah al- 
Jadali saved them from a certain death; therefore, may Allah reward him for what he did for 
His Prophet's household (as). 

This much concludes what we liked to count in a hurry a hundred Shi'a heroes who are 
authorities relied upon by the Sunnis. They are custodians of the nation's knowledge. 
Through them, the prophetic legacy is preserved, and they are sought by the authors of the 



Sayyid 'Abd al-Husayn Sharaf al-Din al-Musawi 



Al-Muraja'at 107 
Shi'i-Sunni dialogue 

sahih and musnad books. We have mentioned them by their names and quoted Sunni texts 
testifying to their being Shi' as while still remaining authorities, as you had requested. I think 
those who raise objections will see their error in claiming that the Sunnis do not rely on the 
authority of Shi' as. They will come to know that their criterion is truthfulness and accuracy, 
regardless of the school of thought, Sunni or Shi' a. If the hadith narrated by the Shi' as is all 
rejected, then the vast majority of the prophetic legacy will be lost, as al-Thahbi himself 
admits while narrating the biography of Aban ibn Taghlib in his book Al-Mizan. There can 
be no better testimony than that. 

You, may Allah render the truth victorious through your person, know that there have been 
quite a few ancestors of the Shi' as, other than the ones we have counted here, whose full 
count is many times more than this hundred, upon whose authority the Sunnis rely. These 
"others" are even of a higher calibre; they are narrators of even more authentic hadith, 
having acquired more knowledge. And they were closer to the Prophet's time, with a 
seniority in embracing the Shi'a beliefs. They are Shi'a companions [sahabah] of the 
Prophet (pbuh), may Allah be pleased with all of them. We have dealt with their blessed 
names at the conclusion of our work Al-Fusul al-Muhimmah. They are also among the 
trustworthy tabPin whose authority is relied upon. Each one of them is a trustworthy man 
who has memorized the entire text of the Holy Qur'an by heart, and his argument is 
irrefutabe. Among such men are those who were martyred while supporting the lesser and 
the greater Camel Battles, Siffin, Al-Nahrawan, in Hijaz as well as in Yemen, when Bisr ibn 
Arta'ah invaded them, during the dissension of al-Hadrami who was sent to Basrah by 
Mu'awiyah. They include those who were martyred on the Taff Battle with the Master of the 
Youths of Paradise [Imam Husayn ibn 'Ali, as], and those who were martyred with his 
grandson Zayd, and many others who had to face a great deal of injustice and persecution, 
avenging the massacre of the Prophet's progeny. Among them were those who were 
murdered just because of being very strong in their beliefs. Others were unfairly exiled from 
their homes, and those who had to resort to taqiyya, fearing for their lives or due to their 
physical weakness, such as al-Ahnaf ibn Qays, al-Asbagh ibn Nabatah, Yahya ibn Ya'mur, 
the latter being the first to apply dots to the Arabic alphabet, al-Khalil ibn Ahmed al- 
Farahidi, who founded the rules of Arabic grammar and scansion, Ma'ath ibn Muslim al- 
Harra, who laid the foundations of the science of conjugation in the Arabic language, and 
many others whose complete biographies would require huge volumes. 

Overlook the hatred of the Nasibis towards these men through their use of attacking; they 
call them "weak" traditionists, and they chew their names, thus depriving themselves of their 
knowledge. There are hundreds of reliable Shi' as who have learned hadith by heart, who are 
light-houses of guidance, ignored by Sunnis. For these men, Shi' as have dedicated indices 
and bibliographies containing their biographies and stories. These works prove the extent of 
service these men have rendered to the tolerant Shari'a. Whoever researches them will find 
them to be models of truthfulness and trustworthiness, piety, asceticism, worship, and 
sincerity in bringing people closer to Allah Almighty and to His Messenger (pbuh), to His 
Book, and to the Imams of Muslims as well as to their commoners. We pray Allah to enable 
us and your own self to benefit from their blessings; He is the Most Merciful. 

Sincerely, 

Sh 



Sayyid 'Abd al-Husayn Sharaf al-Din al-Musawi 



Al-Muraja'at 108 
Shi'i-Sunni dialogue 



f 1 1 This Letter has grown quite lengthy because the topic demands it to be as such. Scholars 
are not bored by its length due to its contents that include precious benefits sought by every 
researcher and critic. Other than these, let whoever is bored read a portion of it, and let him 
judge the rest of it accordingly, then let him go directly to Letter No. 17 and the ones that 
succeed it. For fear of boring you by such a lengthy Letter, we have refrained from including 
it in lists of books containing valuable and very interesting information. 

£21 Upon mentioning Isma'il ibn 'Abbad, al-Thahbi departs from his usual approach in his 
Al-Mizan, listing him before Isma'il ibn Aban al-Ghanawi and Isma'il ibn Aban al-Azdi. He 
has, indeed, greatly wronged his own self, discarding all basic rights. 

£31 A collar put around the dog's neck; the meaning here is that his time to depart has come 
when a rope is tightened around his neck. 

£41 See page 196 of the abridged version of Al-JamP Baynal ^Ilmi wa Fad'ilih by the 
contemporary scholar Shaykh Ahmed ibn 'Umer al-Muhammasani al-Beiruti. 

£51 Refer to page 199 of its summary in the book written by the scholar Shaykh Ahmed ibn 
v Umer al-Muhammasani al-Beiruti. 

£61 Ibn "Adi quotes a chain of narrators including al-Husayn ibn v Ali al-Sukuni al-Kufi, 
Muhammad ibn al-Hasan al-Sukuni, Salih ibn al-Aswad, al-A v mash, and "Atiyyah, stating 
that Jarir was asked once: "How was "Ali's status among your folks?" Jarir answered: "He 
was the best of mankind." This has been quoted by Muhammad Ahmed al-Thahbi in his 
biography of Salih ibn Abul-Aswad in Al-Mizan. In spite of al-Thahbi's extreme fanaticism, 
all he had to say in his comment about this hadith is his statement: "He probably meant 
during his fAli's] lifetime." 

£71 His statement "What a great man v Ali was," though flattering, does not do justice to the 
status of the Imam, peace be upon him, even coming from one of his adversaries. Sharik's 
rejection of such a feeble compliment and his anger thereat are, according to the norms of 
tradition, justified. There is quite a difference between the statement of this Omayyad 
vagabond who infers "What a great man 'Ali was," having heard 'Ali's outstanding virtues, 
as well as the verses of the Exalted and Almighty stating: "We have decreed, and the most 
capable of decreeing are We..." The comparison between the statement of that Omayyad 
man and those of Allah is indeed quite manifest; yet Allah Almighty did not content Himself 
with just saying "What a great servant of Allah he is," but also added: "He is oft-returning;" 
so, Wafiyyat al-A^yan does not provide any answer to such a question. 

£81 He was also one of those who were put in charge of fighting the renegades as Ibn Hajar 
indicates as he discusses Sihan ibn Sawhan in Part One of his Al-Isabah. 

£9J It was said to al-Sha v bi, as mentioned in the biography of Rashid al-Hijri in al-Thahbi's 
Al-Mizan, "What is the matter with you? Why do you find fault with "Ali's companions? 
Haven't you learned what you have learned from any of them?" He asked: "From whom?" 
They answered: "From al-Harith and Sa v sa v ah." He said: "As regarding Sa v sa v ah, he was, 
indeed, an eloquent orator, and I learned from him how to deliver sermons, and truly al- 



Sayyid 'Abd al-Husayn Sharaf al-Din al-Musawi 



Al-Muraja'at 109 
Shi'i-Sunni dialogue 



Harith was an expert in mathematics, and from him did I learn the same." 



[101 Suffices you for proof testifying to this fact what is mentioned by Ibn Hajar in his 
biography in Part Three of his Isabah, Vol. 2, page 241. 

rill Yes, he was agreed upon by those who are fair, and they included it in their sahihs with 
satisfaction. Those who opposed it are the Nasibis and Kharijites. It includes what is 
narrated by Ahmed ibn al-Azhar, who is unanimously considered as an authority, saying: 
""Abdel-Razzaq has taught me a few exclusive ahadith which he knows through a chain of 
narrators that includes Mu'ammar, al-Zuhri, and 'Ubaydullah and ends with Ibn "Abbas who 
says that the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) looked once at v Ali and said: 'You are a chief in this 
life, and a chief in the life to come; whoever loves you loves me, and whoever hates you 
hates me; the one you love is loved by Allah, and the one you dislike is disliked by Allah; 
woe unto those who despise you.'" This is quoted by al-Hakim on page 128, Vol. 3, of his 
Al-Mustadrak, followed by the author's comment thus: "This is an authentic hadith 
according to the authority of both Shaykhs." Among others is what v Abdel-Razzaq has 
narrated from Mu'ammar, from Ibn Najih, from Mujahid, from Ibn "Abbas who says that 
Fatima (as) once said: "O Messenger of Allah! You have married me to a provider who has 
no money." He said: "Are you not pleased that Allah cast a look at the inhabitants of the 
earth and chose from among them two men, and He made one of them your father and the 
other your husband?" This hadith is quoted by al-Hakim on page 129, Vol. 3, of his Al- 
Mustadrak through Sarih ibn Younus, Abu Hafs, al-A'mash, Abu Salih, up to Abu 
Hurayrah. 

ri21 Allah forbid that they have abominations only Mu'awiyah and his oppressive gang are 
more likely to have. Among such abominations is narrated by v Abdel-Razzaq through a 
chain of narrators that includes: Ibn v Ayinah, 'Ali ibn Zayd ibn Jath'an, Abu Nadrah, up to 
Abu Sa v d who quotes the Prophet (pbuh) saying: "If you see Mu'awiyah sitting on my 
pulpit, kill him." 

r 131 The reason for this is the fact that he, peace be upon him and his progeny, died in 148 at 
the age of 65. 

ri41 The demise of Imam al-Jawad, peace be upon him, took place in 220; he was 25 years 
old. They have committed a mistake those who say that 'Abdel-Razzaq narrated hadith from 
al-Baqir, for al-Baqir, peace be upon him, died in 1 14 at the age of 57, twelve years prior to 
v Abdel-Razzaq's birth. 

r 1 51 This can be extracted from the biography of his grandfather Sa v d ibn Janadah in Part 
One of the Al-Isabah. 

fl 61 Some say "Ibn Fayruz," others say "Ibn Fayruzan," while still others call him "Ibn 
v Ali." 

r 171 Some say in the year 201, while others say it was the year 204. 

r 1 81 As in Zubayd al-Yami's biography in Al-Mizan. We have quoted this statement from al- 
Jawzjani while discussing the biographies of Zubayd, al-A v mash, and Abu Ishaq, and we 
included noteworthy comments on them. 



Sayyid 'Abd al-Husayn Sharaf al-Din al-Musawi 



Al-Muraja'at 110 
Shi'i-Sunni dialogue 



Letter 17 

I Appreciating the debater's sentiments, 
II Admitting There is no Objection if Ahlel-Sunnah Rely on ShTa 

Authorities, 

III His belief in the Miracles of Ahl al-Bayt, 

IV Dilemma at Compromising the Above with what Ahl Al-Qibla do. 



Thul-Hijjah 3, 1329 A.H. 

1)1 swear by your eyes that I have never seen anyone more good-hearted, faster in dealing 
with the topic, more attentive, deeper in vision, stronger in argument, clearer in proof, than 
you. Your letters have come like a flowing waterfall, and your arguments have taken control 
over all my senses and sentiments. Your latest letter twists the necks of men, smashes the 
head of falsehood. 

2) The Sunni no longer has any excuse for not relying on his Shfa brother if the latter is 
trustworthy. Your view in this regard is the clear truth, and that of your opponents is nothing 
more than fanaticism and intolerance. Their argument that it is wrong to rely on the Shfas 
contradicts their actual deeds, and their deeds in fact contradict their arguments. Their 
arguments and deeds do not race with each other in the arena, nor do they pursue the same 
goal, due to the clash between them which causes them to clash. For this reason, their 
argument has been proven faulty, while yours remains invincible. During such a short time, 
you have produced what I would consider a dissertation for which a title like "Shi'a 
Authorities in Support of Sunni Authorities" may be appropriate. The objective is not to 
defend this sect or that or win an argument; rather, I hope it will, if Allah so wills, bring a 
glorious reform to the Islamic world. 

3) We believe in all Allah's miracles, in those of our Master the Commander of the Faithful, 
and in those of Ahl al-Bayt, peace be upon them, more than what you indicate. 

4) The question now is why have the people of the qibla turned away from following the 
path of the Imams of Ahl al-Bayt (as)? Why didn't they worship Allah through their own 
concepts of usul and furul Why have they not taken their word as the final word in the 
matter in which they differed? Why have the nation's scholars not been researching their 
views? Why have they innstead opposed them ideologically? The nation's scholars have 
always been, from sons to fathers, referring to those besides Ahl al-Bayt without denying 
doing so. If the Book's verses and the Sunnah's texts are as you indicate, Ahl al-Qibla would 
not have turned away from the Imams of Ahl al-Bayt, nor would they have accepted any 
alternative to them. But they did not understand of the Book and the Sunnah other than the 
praise of Ahl al-Bayt, and the necessity of loving and respecting them. The ancestors are 
closer to the truth and more familiar with the meanings of the Sunnah and the Book ("and 
follow their own guidance (Qur'an, 6:90)," Wassalam. 

Sincerely, 

5 



Sayyid 'Abd al-Husayn Sharaf al-Din al-Musawi 



Al-Muraja'at 111 
Shi'i-Sunni dialogue 



Letter 18 

I Sentiments Reciprocated, 
II Debater's Error in Generalizing Regarding Ahl al-Qibla, 

III The Nation's Politicians are the Ones Who Turned Away from Ahl al- 

Bayt, 

IV The Imams of Ahl al-Bayt (without any argument) are not Inferior to 

others, 
V Which Fair Court Judges Calling Their Followers "Strayers"? 



Thul-Hijjah 4, 1329 

1) Thank you for thinking so highly of me, the unworthy that I am, and I appreciate your 
compliments as well as the contents of my letters; therefore, I look humbly to such 
gracefulness, and I bow down before such kindness to honour its greatness and prestige. 

2) But I request you to reconsider what you have stated regarding those who turned away 
from Ahl al-Bayt, generalizing them about all Ahl al-Qibla. I remind you that half of Ahl al- 
Qibla are the Shi' as of Muhammad (pbuh) who have not turned away nor shall ever turn 
away from the Imams of Ahl al-Bayt in as far as the origins and branches of the faith are 
concerned. It is their view that following their sect, peace be upon them, is one of the strict 
commandments of the Book and the Sunnah; therefore, they worship Allah Almighty thus in 
every time and place. This is the way of their good ancestors as well as that of their posterity 
since the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) passed away. 

3) Those who have turned away from the beliefs of Ahl al-Bayt in as far as the roots and 
branches of the creed are concerned are the nation's politicians, the ones who control its 
destiny, due to their turning away from the succession (to the Prophet), affecting such a 
succession by elections, although they knew for sure that it was assigned for the Commander 
of the Faithful 'Ali ibn Abu Talib (as). They saw that the Arabs would not tolerate such a 
succession if restricted to one dynasty; therefore, they started interpreting its texts, assuming 
power through elections so that every suburb of theirs may enjoy it sooner or later. So, it 
was here and it was there. They sacrificed their means and might to keep it that way and 
support that principle, eradicating all contrary views and trends. Necessity forced them to 
turn away from the school of thought of Ahl al-Bayt. They started interpreting the texts of 
the Book or the Sunnah to mean the necessity of following such a concept. Had they yielded 
to the clear proofs, and referred the elite and the commoners to them in matters relevant to 
the roots and branches of religion, they would have found no alternative to adhering to their 
principle. They would have then become among the greatest callers to Ahl al-Bayt. But this 
did not agree with their ambition, scheme and politics. Whoever looks carefully in these 
matters will find out that turning away from the imams of Ahl al-Bayt in his sect is but 
turning away from their leadership, which was next only to that of the Messenger of Allah 
(pbuh), and that interpreting the arguments regarding their special leadership was adopted 
after interpreting the arguments regarding their general leadership; otherwise, nobody would 
have turned away from them. 

4) Leave their texts and arguments alone, and look at them while overlooking the former; do 
you then find them, in their knowledge, deeds, or worship, less than Imam al-AsrTari, or the 

Sayyid 'Abd al-Husayn Sharaf al-Din al-Musawi 



Al-Muraja'at 112 
Shi'i-Sunni dialogue 

other four Imams, or any others at all? And if the answer is No, then why should others be 
followed then? Leadership should be given to the most qualified. 

5) Which just arbitrator decides that those who uphold their rope and follow into their 
footsteps are strayers? Sunnis are above passing such a judgment, and peace be with you. 

Sincerely, 

5/7 



Letter 19 

No Fair Arbitrator Would Call Followers of Ahl al-Bayt Strayers, 

II Following Their Sects is Carrying out the Responsibility, 

III It Could be Said that They Have the Priority to Lead, 

IV Requesting Texts Relevant to the Khilafate. 



Thul-Hijjah 5, 1329 

1) No; any fair arbitrator would never label those who have upheld the rope of Ahl al-Bayt, 
who follow in their footsteps, as "strayers," nor are they, by any means, inferior to other 
Imams. 

2) Adherence to their sect obligates them and clears their conscience, just like adhering to 
any of the four sects; there is no doubt about that. 

3) It may be said that your Twelve Imams are even more worthy of being followed than the 
four Imams or any others, since all of them follow one sect which they have scrutinized 
and agreed upon by consensus. Contrariwise, the four Imams' disagreements among 
themselves exist in all departments of jurisdiction, leaving its sources exclusive, 
unchecked. It is well known that if one person verifies something, his effort cannot equate 
that of twelve Imams. This is clear to any fair-minded person, ant it leaves no argument for 
any unjust peron. Yes, the Nasibis may dispute referring your sect to the Imams of Ahl al- 
Bayt, and I may, at a later time, ask you to prove their error. 

4) For the time being, I request you to go ahead and indicate what you claim to be 
statements nominating Imam 'Ali ibn Abu Talib (as) as the successor to the Prophet 
(pbuh). Derive your arguments from Sunni references, and peace be with you. 

Sincerely, 

5 



Sayyid 'Abd al-Husayn Sharaf al-Din al-Musawi 



Al-Muraja'at 113 
Shi'i-Sunni dialogue 



Letter 20 
I A General Reference to the Texts, 
A Reference to the House on the Day of Warning, 
III Sunni Reporters of this Hadith. 



Thul-Hijjah 9, 1239 

1) Anyone who is acquainted with the biography of the holy Prophet (pbuh), especially 
researching his conduct while laying the foundations of the Islamic State and its legislative 
system, the establishment of its bases, the issuing of its codes and the organizing of its 
affairs on behalf of the Almighty Allah..., will find v Ali (as) the vizier of the Messenger of 
Allah (pbuh), his supporter against his foes, the custodian of his knowledge, the heir of his 
government, his vicegerent, and the one in charge after him. Whoever studies the statements 
and actions of the Prophet (pbuh), while at home or on a journey, will find his statements, 
peace and blessings of Allah Almighty be upon him and his progeny, sequential in this 
regard from the beginning of his Call till his demise. 

2) Refer to such statements at the dawn of the Call, before Islam was preached in Mecca 
publicly, when the Almighty revealed unto him the verse "And warn thy nearest tribe 
(Qur'an, 26:214)." He invited them to the house of his uncle Abu Talib. They were forty 
men, more or less. Among them were his uncles Abu Talib, al-Hamzah, al-" Abbas, and Abu 
Lahab. The hadith in this regard is sequentially reported by Sunnis. At the conclusion of his 
statement to them, the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his progeny, said: 

"O descendants of "Abdul-Muttlib! I swear by God that I know no youth among the Arabs 
who has brought his people something better than what I have brought you. I have brought 
you the best of this life and the life to come, and God has commanded me to call you 
towards Him. Therefore, who among you shall support me in this matter and be my brother, 
the executor of my will, and my successor?" 

All the listeners, with the exception of v Ali, who was the youngest among them, kept silent. 
v Ali responded by saying: "I, O Messenger of Allah, am willing to be your vizier in this 
matter." The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) then took 'Ali by the neck and said: "This is my 
brother, executor of my will and vizier; therefore, listen to him and obey him." Those 
present laughed and kept saying to Abu Talib: "Allah has commanded you to listen to your 
son, and to obey him!" 

3) Many of those who have learned the prophetic legacy by heart have reported the hadith 
above verbatim as such. Among them are: Ibn Ishaq, Ibn Jarir, Ibn Abu Hatim, Ibn 
Mardawayh, Abu Na'im, al-Bayhaqi in his book Al-Dala HI, both al-ThaTabi and al-Tabari in 
their exegeses of Surat al Shu" ara' in their book Al-Tafsir al-Kabir, in Vol. 2 of al-Tabari's 
Tarikh al-Umam wal Muluk. Ibn al-Athir has reported it as an undisputed fact in Vol. 2 of 
his Al-Kamil when he mentioned how the Almighty commanded His Messenger to declare 
his call to the public, Abul-Fida in Vol. of his Tarikh while discussing who was the first to 
embrace Islam, Imam Abu Ja v fer al-Iskafi al-Mu v tazili in his book Naqd al-Uthmaniyyah 
declaring its accuracy,JT[ al-Halabi in his chapter on the Prophet's hideout at the house of 
Arqam in his well-known Sirah.\2\ 



Sayyid 'Abd al-Husayn Sharaf al-Din al-Musawi 



Al-Muraja'at 114 
Shi'i-Sunni dialogue 

In this same context, with almost identical wording, has this hadith been reported by many 
masters of hadith and most reliable Sunni authorities such as al-Tahawi, Diya' al-Maqdisi in 
his Mukhtara, and Sa'id ibn Mansur in his Sunan. Refer to what Ibn Hanbal has recorded of 
'Ali's hadith on pages 111 and 159 of Vol. 1 of his Musnad. He also pointed out at the 
beginning of page 331 of Vol. 1 of his Musnad, to a very significant hadith from Ibn 
v Abbas] containing ten characteristics in which 'Ali has distinguished himself from 
everyone else. That hadith is published in Nisa'i, too, from Ibn 'Abbas, on page 6 of his 
Khasa'is al 'Alawiyyah, and on page 132, Vol. 3, of Hakim's Mustadrak. Al-Thahbi has 
narrated it in his Talkhis], vouching for its authenticity. Refer to Vol. 6 of Kanz al-^Ummal 
which contains all the details. [3_1 Refer also to Muntakhabul Kanz which is cited in the 
footnote of Imam Ahmed's Musnad; refer to the footnote on pages 41 and 43 of Vol. 5 of the 
book to find all details. This, we believe, suffices to serve as glorious proof, and peace be 
with you. 

Sincerely, 

Sh 



|T1 As on page 263, Vol. 3, of Shark Nahjul Balaghah by Ibn Abul Hadid, Egyptian edition. 
As regarding his book Naqd al-^Uthmaniyya, it is a unique book worthy of the attention of 
any seeker of the truth. It is on page 257 and its succeeding pages up to page 281, Vol. 3, of 
the Shark, at the end the commentary at the conclusion of the "qasVa" sermon. 

[21 Refer to the fourth page of that chapter, or to page 381 of the first volume of Al-Sira al- 
Halabiyya. Ibn Taymiyyah's wrecklessness is unfair, and his judgment is due to his well- 
known fanaticism. This hadith is quoted by the Egyptian sociologist Muhammad Hasanayn 
Haykal; refer to the second column on page five of the supplement to issue 2751 of his 
newspaper Al-Siyasa dated Thul-QTda 12, 1350, and you will find it there explained in 
detail. If you refer to the fourth column on page six of the supplement to issue 2785 of the 
same newspaper, you will find the author quoting this hadith from Muslim's , Ahmed's 
musnad, "Abdullah ibn Ahmed's Ziyadat al-Musnad, Ibn Hajar al-Haithami's JamVul 
Fara'id, Ibn Qutaybah's ^Uyun al-Akhbar, Ahmed ibn v Abd Rabbih's Al-^Iqd al-Farid, v Amr 
ibn Bahr al-Jahiz in his dissertation on the descendants of Hashim, and Imam Abu Ishaq al- 
ThaTabi's Tafsir. This hadith is also quoted by the British author Georges in his well-known 
book A Treatise on Islam, translated into the Arabic by an atheist from a Protestant descent 
calling himself Hashim al-'Arabi. You can also find this hadith on page 79 of the treatise's 
Arabic version, 6th edition. Due to the fame this hadith enjoys, a few non-Arab writers have 
included it in their books, especially in French, English and German. In his book Heroes and 
Hero Worship, Thomas Carlyle quotes it briefly. 

[3_L Refer to hadith 6008 on page 392, and you will find it quoted from Ibn Jarir, while hadith 
1045 on page 396 is quoted from Ahmed's Musnad and from al-Dia al-Maqdisi's Al- 
Mukhtara, and from al-Tahawi. Ibn Jarir has verified it. Also refer to hadith 6056 on page 
397 and you will find it quoted from Ibn Ishaq, Ibn Jarir, Ibn Abu Hatim, Ibn Mardawayh, 
Abu Na v im, al-Bayhaqi on the branches of faith, and in the Dala'il, and hadith 6102 on page 
401 and you will find it quoted from Ibn Mardawayh, and hadith 6155 on page 408 and you 
will find it quoted from Ahmed's Musnad and from Ibn Jarir from Al-Diya fil Mukhtara. 
Whoever researches Kanz al-^Ummal will find this hadith in various places throughout the 



Sayyid 'Abd al-Husayn Sharaf al-Din al-Musawi 



Al-Muraja'at 115 
Shi'i-Sunni dialogue 

book. If you look into page 255, Vol. 3, of Shark Nahjul Balaghah by the Mif tazilite Imam 
Ibn Abul-Hadid, or at the end of the explanation of the "qasVa sermon" in it, you will find 
this hadith in its entirety. 



Letter 21 

Raising Doubts about the Hadith's Authenticity 

Thul-Hijjah 10, 1329 

Your debater strongly doubts the credibility of this hadith. For one thing, both Shaykhs have 
not included it in their sahih books, nor have the authors of other sahih books. I do not think 
that this hadith has been narrated by any reliable Sunni traditionist, and I do not think that 
you yourself consider it authentic, and peace be with you. 

Sincerley, 

5 



Letter 22 

I Proving the Text's Authenticity, 
II Why the Shaykhs Have Not Reported it, 
Whoever Knows These Shaykhs Knows Why. 



Thul-Hijjah 1329 

1) Have I not ascertained its reliability by Sunnis, I would not have mentioned it to you. Yet 
Ibn Jarir and Imam Abu JaTer al-Iskafi have taken its authenticity for granted.JTL Several 
other critics have also considered it authentic. It is sufficient proof for its authenticity the 
fact that it is reported by the reliable authorities upon whose accuracy the authors of sahih 
books rely unhesitatingly. Refer to page 111, Vol. 1, of Ahmed's Musnad, where you will 
read this hadith as narrated by Aswad ibn 'Amir[2_L from Sharik,[3_L al-A v mashJ41 
Minhal,[5_L v Abbad ibn "Abdullah al-Asadi,[61 from "Ali (as) chronologically. Each one of 
these men in the chain of narrators is an authority in his own right, and they all are reliable 
traditionists according to the testimony of the authors of the sahih books without any 
dispute. Al-Qaysarani has mentioned them in his book Al-JamV Bayna Rijal al-Sahihain. 
There is no doubt that this hadith is authentic, and the narrators report it from various ways 
each one of which supports the other. 

2) The reason why both shaykhs [Bukhari and Muslim], and their likes, have not quoted this 
hadith is due to the fact that it did not agree with their own personal views regarding the 
issue of succession. This is why they have rejected a great deal of authentic texts for fear the 
Shfas may use them as pretexts; therefore, they hid the truth knowingly. There are many 
Sunni shaykhs, may Allah forgive them, who have likewise hidden such texts, and they have 
in their method of hiding a well known history written down by al-Hafiz ibn Hajar in his 



Sayyid 'Abd al-Husayn Sharaf al-Din al-Musawi 



Al-Muraja'at 116 
Shi'i-Sunni dialogue 

Fath Al-Barari. Al-Bukhari has assigned a special chapter for this theme at the conclusion of 
his chapter on "Al- v Ilm," in Vol. 1, page 25, of his Sahih, subtitled "A Chapter on Those 
Who Recognized the Knowledge of some People Rather than that of Others." 

3) Whoever knows the way al-Bukhari thought, his own attitudes towards the Commander 
of the Faithful (as), and towards all Ahl al-Bayt (as), will come to know that Bukhari's pen 
falls short of narrating texts regarding them, and his ink dries up before recounting their 
attributes. He will not be surprised to see him rejecting this particular hadith as well as 
others similar to it; therefore, we seek refuge with Allah, the Almighty, the Sublime, and 
peace be with you. 

Sincerely, 

Sh 



|T1 Refer to hadith 6045 of the hadith included in Kanz al-^Ummal, page 396, Vol. 6, where 
you will find reference made to Ibn Jarir's verification of this hadith. If you refer to 
Muntakhab al-Kanz, the beginning of the footnote on page 44, Vol. 5, of Ahmed's Musnad, 
you will find reference to Ibn Jarir's verification of this hadith. As regarding Abu JaTer al- 
Iskafi, he has emphatically judged its accuracy in his book Naqd al-" Uthmaniyya; so, refer to 
the text of page 263, Vol. 3 of Shark Nahjul Balaghah by al-Hadid, Egyptian edition. 

[2J Both al-Bukhari and Muslim have relied on him in their sahihs. They have both learned 
hadith from Shu" bah, and Bukhari has learned it from "Abdul- v Aziz ibn Abu Salamah, while 
Muslim has learned hadith from Zuhayr ibn Mu'awiyah and Hammad ibn Salamah. His 
hadith is narrated in Bukhari by Muhammad ibn Hatim ibn Bazi\ In Muslim's Sahih he is 
quoted by Harun ibn "Abdullah the critic, and by Abu Shaybah and Zuhayr. 

[31 Muslim has relied on his authority in his Sahih, as we explained when we discussed him 
in Letter No. 16. 

[41 Both Bukhari and Muslim rely on his authority in their respective sahihs, as we have 
stated while discussing him in Letter No. 16. 

[5_L Al-Bukhari has relied on him, as we explained when we mentioned him in Letter No. 16. 

[6_1 His full name is "Abbad ibn "Abdullah ibn al-Zubayr ibn al-Awwam al-Qarashi al-Asadi. 
Al-Bukhari and Muslim rely on his authority in their respective sahihs. He has heard hadith 
from Asma' and "Ayesha daughters of Abu Bakr. He is quoted in both sahihs by Ibn Abu 
Malka, Muhammad ibn JaTer ibn al-Zubayr, and Hisham ibn "Umer. 



Letter 23 

I Convinced of the Authenticity of this Hadith, 

II Unreliability Based on Non-Sequential Narration, 

III Its Reference to Restricted Succession, 

IV Its Rebuttal. 



Sayyid 'Abd al-Husayn Sharaf al-Din al-Musawi 



Al-Muraja'at 117 
Shi'i-Sunni dialogue 



Thul-Hijjah 14, 1329 

1) I have, indeed, read this hadith on page 111 of Volume One of Ahmed's Musnad and 
ascertained the reliability of his sources and found them to be the most reliable authorities. 
Then I researched his avenues avenues in narrating this hadith, and I found them to be 
sequential: each one of them supports the other; therefore, I have contented myself to believe 
in its contents. 

2) But you do not rely on an authentic hadith that deals with the issue of succession unless it 
is sequentially narrated [mutawatir], for succession, according to your Shi" a philosophy, is 
one of the roots of religion, and this hadith cannot be considered as "mutawatir" 
(consecutively reported) and, therefore, it cannot be relied upon. 

3) It may be said that v Ali is the successor of the Prophet (pbuh) in his own Household 
alone; so, where is the text that testifies to his succession among the general public? 

4) This hadith may even be revoked, since the Prophet has refrained from publicly 
supporting the gist thereof. Because of this, the companions found no reason why they 
should not swear the oath of allegiance to the three righteous caliphs, may Allah be pleased 
with them. 

Sincerely, 

5 



Letter 24 

I Why Relying on this Hadith, 

II Restricted Succession is Unanimously Rejected, 

III Revocation is Impossible. 



Thul-Hijjah 15, 1329 

1) Sunnis rely on every correct hadith to confirm their concept of succession, be it mutawatir 
or nont. We rely on the authenticity of this hadith in our argument against theirs simply 
because they themselves testify to its authenticity, thus binding themselves to what they 
have considered to be binding. Our own proof regarding succession from our viewpoint 
depends on its tawatur from our own sources, as is obvious to everyone. 

2) The claim that 'AH is the successor of the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) only in his 
household is rejected due to the fact that whoever believes that 'Ali is the successor of the 
Messenger of Allah in his household also believes that he is his successor among the public 
as well, and whoever denies his succession over the public also denies his succession among 
his family. There is no way to separate one from the other; so, why bring up a philosophy 
which runs contrary to the consensus of all Muslims? 



Sayyid 'Abd al-Husayn Sharaf al-Din al-Musawi 



Al-Muraja'at 118 
Shi'i-Sunni dialogue 

3) I cannot overlook your statement that this hadith is revoked, which contradicts both 
reason and Sharfa, since in order to abrogate, a statement has to be made before the effect of 
its precedent becomes manifest, as is clear to everyone. The only pretext for abrogation here 
is the allegation that the Prophet (pbuh) supposedly refrained from [publicly] expounding on 
the gist of this hadith. The hadith itself proves that he, peace and blessings of Allah be upon 
him and his progeny, did not refrain from doing so; rather, texts in this meaning are 
consecutive, supporting one another. If we suppose that there is no text in the same meaning 
after this one, then how can it be proven that the Prophet (pbuh) had changed his mind or 
refrained from its enforcement? "They follow nothing other than their own whims and 
desires, after guidance from their Lord has already come unto them (Qur'an, 53:23)," and 
peace be with you. 

Sincerely: Sh 



Letter 25 

I His Belief in the Text, 
II Requesting More Texts. 



Thul-Hijjah 16, 1329 

1)1 have believed in the One Who has caused you to dissipate the darkness [of ignorance], 
clarify what is ambiguous, and made you one of His signs and a facet of His own 
manifestations. 

2) May Allah bless your father, provide me with more such texts, and peace be with you. 

Sincerely, 

5 



Letter 26 

Clear Texts Recounting Ten of x Ali's Exclusive Merits, 
II Why Rely Upon it. 



Thul-Hijjah 17, 1329 

1) Suffices you, besides the hadith of the Household, what Imam Ahmed has indicated in 
Vol. 1 of his book Al-Mustadrak, and al-Thahbi in his Concise, who both admit its 
authenticity, as well as other authors of the sunan from generally accepted avenues. They all 
quote "Umer ibn Maymun saying: "I was sitting once in the company of Ibn 'Abbas when 
nine men came to him and said O Ibn 'Abbas! Either come to debate with us, or tell these 
folks that you prefer a private debate.' He had not lost his eye-sight yet. He said: V I rather 
debate with you.' So they started talking, but I was not sure exactly what they were talking 
about. Then he stood up and angrily said: "They are debating about a man who has ten 
merits nobody else ever had. They are arguing about a man whom the holy Prophet (pbuh) 

Sayyid 'Abd al-Husayn Sharaf al-Din al-Musawi 



Al-Muraja'at 119 
Shi'i-Sunni dialogue 

has said, 'I shall dispatch a man whom Allah shall never humiliate, one who loves Allah and 
His Messenger (pbuh) and who is loved by both,' so each one of them thought to him such 
an honour belonged. The holy Prophet (pbuh) inquired about 'Ali. When the latter came 
unto him, with his eyes swelling in ailment, he (pbuh) blew in his eyes, shook the standard 
thrice and gave it to him. 'Ali came back victorious with Safiyya bint Huyay [al-Akhtab] 
among his captives.'" Ibn 'Abbas proceeded to say, "Then the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) 
sent someone with surat al-Tawbah, but he had to send 'Ali after him to discharge the 
responsibility, saying: 'Nobody can discharge it except a man who is of me, and I am of 
him.'" Ibn 'Abbas also said, "The Messenger of Allah (pbuh), with 'Ali sitting beside him, 
asked his cousins once: 'Who among you elects to be my wali in this life and the life 
hereafter?' They all declined, but 'Ali said: 'I would like to be your wali in this life and the 
life to come,' whereupon he (pbuh) responded by saying: 'You are, indeed, my wali in this 
life and the life hereafter.'" Ibn 'Abbas continues to say that 'Ali was the first person to 
accept Islam after Khadija, and that the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) took his own robe and 
put it over 'Ali, Fatima, Hasan and Husayn, then recited the verse saying: "Allah wishes to 
remove all abomination from you, O Ahl al-Bayt [people of my household] and purify you 
with a perfect purification (Qur'an, 33:33)." He has also said: '"Ali bought his own soul. He 
put on the Prophet's garment and slept in his bed when the infidels sought to murder him," 
till he says: "The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) went on Tabuk expedition accompanied by 
many people. 'Ali asked him: 'May I join you?' The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) refused, 
whereupon 'Ali wept. The Prophet (pbuh) then asked him: 'Does it not please you that your 
status to me is similar to that of Aaron's to Moses, except there is no Prophet after me? It is 
not proper for me to leave this place before assigning you as my vicegerent.' The Messenger 
of Allah (pbuh) has also said the following to him: 'You are the wali of every believing man 
and woman.'" 

Ibn 'Abbas has said: "The Messenger of Allah closed down all doors leading to his mosque 
except that of 'Ali who used to enter the mosque on his way out even while in the state of 
janaba. The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) has also said: 'Whoever accepts me as the wali, let 
him/her take 'Ali as the wali, too.'" As a matter of fact, al-Hakim, having counted the 
sources from which he quoted this hadith, comments by saying, "This is an authentic hadith 
according to isnad, yet both shaykhs did not narrate it this way." Al-Thahbi has quoted it in 
his Talkhis and described it as an authentic hadith. 

2) Clear and irrefutable proofs highlight the fact that 'Ali was the Prophet's vicegerent. Have 
you noticed how the Prophet (pbuh) has named him wali in this life and the life to come, 
thus favouring him over all his kin, and how he regarded his status to himself as similar to 
that of Aaron to Moses, without any exception other than Prophethood, and exception which 
reflects generality? 

You also know that what distinguished Aaron from Moses was mostly his being the vizier of 
his brother, his de facto participation in his brother's Message, his vicegerency, and the 
enforcement by Moses of people's obedience to Aaron as his statement, to which references 
is included in the Holy Qur'an (20:29-32), and which clearly says: "And let my brother 
Aaron, from among my household, be my vizier, to support me and take part in my affair," 
and his statement: "Be my own representative among my people; reform them, and do not 
follow the path of corrupters (Qur'an 7:142)," and the Almighty's response: "O Moses! 
Granted is your prayer (Qur'an 20:36)." According to this text, 'Ali is the Prophet's 
vicegerent among his people, his vizier among his kin, his partner in his undertaking - not in 
Prophethood - his successor, the best among his people, and the most worthy of their 



Sayyid 'Abd al-Husayn Sharaf al-Din al-Musawi 



Al-Muraja'at 120 
Shi'i-Sunni dialogue 

leadership alive or dead. They owed him obedience during the Prophet's lifetime as the 
Prophet's vizier, just as Aaron's people had to obey Aaron during the lifetime of Moses. 

Whoever becomes familiar with the status hadith will immediately consider its deep 
implications without casting any doubt at the gist of its context. The Messenger of Allah 
(pbuh) has made this very clear when he said: "It is not proper for me to leave this place 
before assigning you as my vicegerent." It is a clear text regarding his succession; nay, it 
even suggests that had the Prophet (pbuh) left without doing so, he would have done 
something he was not supposed to have done. This is so only because he was commanded by 
the Almighty to assign him as his own successor according to the meaning of the verse 
saying "O Messenger! Convey that which has been revealed unto you from your Lord, and if 
you do not do it, then you have not conveyed His Message at all (Qur'an 5:67)." Anyone 
who examines the phrase "then you have not conveyed His Message at all," then examines 
the Prophet's statement: "It is not proper for me to leave this place before assigning you as 
my vicegerent," will find them both aiming at the same conclusion, as is quite obvious. We 
should also not forget the Prophet's hadith saying: "You are the wall of every believer after 
me." It is a clear reference to the fact that he is the Prophet's wali and the one who takes his 
place, as al-Kumait, may Allah have mercy on his soul, has implied when he said: "A great 
Vicegerent, a fountain-head of piety, an educator!" And peace be with you. 

Sincerley, 

Sh 



Letter 27 

Raising Doubts About the Status Hadith 

Thul-Hijjah 18, 1329 

The "status hadith" is authentic and well-known, but al-Amidi, who verified and 
ascertained hadith, and who is considered the master of the science of usul, has doubted its 
sources and suspected its narrators. Your debater may uphold al-Amidi's view; so, how can 
you prove him wrong? And peace be with you. 

Sincerely, 

5 



Letter 28 

I The Status Hadith Stands on Most Solid Grounds, 

II Binding Proofs, 

III Its Sunni Narrators, 

IV Why al-Amidi Suspects It. 



Sayyid 'Abd al-Husayn Sharaf al-Din al-Musawi 



Al-Muraja'at 121 
Shi'i-Sunni dialogue 



Thul-Hijjah 19, 1329 

1) Al-Amidi has done nobody injustice except his own self by casting doubt about the 
authenticity of this hadith which is one of the most accurate sunan and a most solid legacy. 

2) Nobody else has doubted its accuracy, nor did anyone else dare to argue about its 
grounds. Even al-Thahbi, who is a most prejudiced narrator, has admitted its accuracy in his 
Talkhis Al-Mustadrak.\Y\ Ibn Hajar al-Haithami, in spite of his antagonistic views embedded 
in his Al-Sawalq al-Muhriqa, has quoted this hadith in his chapter on "Al-Shubuhat," citing 
statements by the foremost narrators of hadith testifying to its accuracy; so, refer to that 
book. Had this hadith not been accurate, al-Bukhari would not have included it in his book, 
in spite of his prejudice when it comes to counting "Ali's merits and those of Ahl al-Bayt 
(as). 

Mu"awiyah was the leader of the oppressive gang. He stood in enmity against the 
Commander of the Faithful (as), fought him, cursed him from Muslims' pulpits and ordered 
people to do likewise. Yet, in spite of his insolent hostility, he never doubted the status 
hadith. Nor has Sa"d ibn Abu Waqqas exaggerated when he, according to Muslim, was 
asked by Mu"awiyah why he hesitated to denounce "Abu Turab;" he answered him by 
saying:£21 "I remember three ahadith of the Messenger of Allah which I have personally 
heard, because of which I shall never curse him. Had I had just one of his exclusive merits, it 
would have been more precious for me than a herd of the choicest red camels. I have heard 
the Messenger of Allah (pbuh), who was then accompanied by a few people participating in 
some of his campaigns, saying to "AH: "Are you not pleased that your status to me is similar 
to that of Aaron to Moses except that there will be no Prophet after me?"'[3_L Mu"awiyah was 
dumbfounded, and he could not utter a word or pressure Sa"d. 

In addition to all of this, Mu"awiyah himself has narrated the same hadith. Ibn Hajar says in 
his book Al-Sawalq Al-Muhriqa:\A\ "Ahmed has said that a man once asked Mu"awiyah a 
question and his answer was: "Forward your question to "Ali because he is more 
knowledgeable.' Yet the man said: "Your own answer to this matter is dearer to me than that 
of "Ali.' Mu"awiyah was angry, and he said: "What a bad statement you have uttered! You 
hate a man whom the Messenger of Allah used to gorge with knowledge? He even told him 
that his status to him was like that of Aaron to Moses except that there would be no Prophet 
after him? Whenever "Umer was confused about a matter, he sought "AH's advice. ...'"[51 hi 
short, the status hadith is considered, according to the consensus of all Muslims, regardless 
of their sects and inclinations, to be authentic. 

3) Authors of both Al-JamP Baynal Sihah Al-Sitta and Al-JamV Bayna Rijal al-Sahihain 
have quoted it, and it is included in Bukhari's chapter on the Battle of Tabuk in his Sahih, in 
Muslim's chapter on "Ali's merits in his Sahih, in a chapter on the attributes of the Prophet's 
companions in Ibn Majah's sunan, and in a chapter on "AH's merits in Hakim's Al- 
Mustadrak. Imam Ahmed Ibn Hanbal has quoted it in his Musnad from several different 
reporters. Ibn "Abbas, Asma' bint "Amis, Abu Sa"d al-Khudri, Mu"awiyah ibn Abu 
Sufyan,[61 and many other companions have all narrated it as recorded in the musnad. Al- 
Tabrani has quoted it as narrated by Asma' bint "Amis, Umm Salamah, Habis ibn Janadah, 
Ibn "Umer, "Ali ibn Abu Talib (as),JTL and many others. Al-Bazzaz has included it in his 
Musnad,[&l and so has al-Tirmithi in his Sahih[9f depending on the authority of Abu Sa^id 
al-Khudri. In Al-IstPab, in a chapter dealing with "Ali, the author quotes Ibn "Abdul Birr 



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Al-Muraja'at 122 
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narrating it, then he comments thus: "This is one of the most reliable and accurate ahadith 
narrated about the Prophet by Sa'd ibn Abu Waqqas." Sard's references are numerous and 
are enumerated by Ibn Abu Khaytff amah and others. Ibn "Abbas, Abu Sa'id al-Khudri, 
Umm Salamah, Asma' bint Amis, Jabir ibn 'Abdullah, and quite a few other traditionists 
have all narrated it." As a matter of fact, whoever researches the Battle of Tabuk and refers 
to books of traditions and biographies will find them mentioning this hadith. Those who 
have written biographies of v Ali, among authors of glossaries of ancient as well as modern 
times, regardless of their inclinations and sectarian preferences, have all quoted this hadith. 
It is also quoted by anyone who writes about the merits of Ahl al-Bayt, those of the Imams 
among the companions of the Prophet (pbuh) such as Ahmed ibn Hanbal, and by others 
before or after his time. It is a hadith taken for granted by all past Muslim generations. 

4) There is no lesson to learn about the doubt cast by al-Amidi regarding this hadith in his 
Musnad, since the man knows nothing about the science of traditions, and his knowledge 
about musnads and narrators is the knowledge of illiterate commoners who do not know the 
meaning of hadith. In fact, his own extensive knowledge in the science of usul is the reason 
why he has fallen in such a dilemma. According to the requirements of usul, he saw it to be 
a correct hadith which he could not get rid of except by suspecting its isnad, thinking that 
that would be possible. Indeed, that was only his unattainable desire, and peace be with you. 

Sincerely, 

Sh 



OJ Letter No. 26 contains his admission of its authenticity. 

[2J This occurs in his section dealing with 'Ali's virtues at the beginning of page 324, Vol. 2, 
of his Sahih. 

[3_1 Al-Hakim, too, quotes it at the beginning of page 109, Vol. 3, of his Al-Mustadrak, 
admitting its authenticity due to its being endorsed by Muslim. 

[41 This occurs in the fifth maqsad of Al-Maqasid when the author discusses verse 14 in 
Section 11, page 107, of A l-Sawa^iq al-Muhriqa. 

[51 He says that others have quoted it, and that some added to it "Get up; may Allah never 
allow you to stand up," and his name is omitted from the diwan, to the end of his quotation 
on page 107 of his Al-Sawa^iq al-Muhriqa. This proves that a group of late traditionists 
besides Ahmed has quoted the status hadith from Mu'awiyah. 

[6_1 As we mentioned in the beginning of this Letter, quoting the fifth maqsad of the 
Maqasid of verse 14 of the verses discussed in Chapter 11, Al-Sawa^iq al-Muhriqa, page 
107. 

[71 As Ibn Hajar describes in the first hadith of the forty ones which he discusses in the 
second section of chapter 9, page 72, of his Al-Sawa^iq al-Muhriqa. Al-Sayyuti has stated 
the following while discussing "Ali (as) in his chapter on the righteous caliphs: "Al-Tabrani 



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Al-Muraja'at 123 
Shi'i-Sunni dialogue 

has quoted this hadith from all these men, adding to them Asma' bint Qays." 

£81 Al-Sayyuti indicates so while discussing v Ali (as) in his chapter on the caliphs on page 
65. 

[91 As attested to by hadith 2504 of the hadith of Kanz al-^Ummal, page 152, Volume 6. 



Letter 29 

I Believing in Our Arguments Regarding the Hadith's Sanad, 

II Doubting its General Application, 

III Doubting its being Binding. 



Thul-Hijjah 20, 1329 

1) All what you have mentioned regarding the authenticity of the status hadith is indeed 
beyond any doubt. Al-Amidi has stumbled in a way which has proven his distance from the 
science of hadith, and from traditionists. I have bothered you with mentioning his views in 
clarifying what is already clear. This is my mistake for which I invoke your forgiveness, 
since you are apt to forgive. 

2) I have come to know that there are others besides al-Amidi from among your arbitraters 
who claim that there is no proof that the status hadith has a general application, and that it is 
restricted to its own context. They support their view by the hadith's text itself, saying that 
the Prophet's statement is due only to its time context, that is, when he left him in Medina 
during the Battle of Tabuk. The Imam, peace be upon him, asked him: "Why do you leave 
me with women and children?" His answer, peace be upon him and his progeny, was: 
"Aren't you pleased that your status to me is similar to that of Aaron to Moses, except there 
will be no Prophet after me?" as if he (pbuh) explained that his position to him is like that of 
Aaron to Moses when the latter left him to represent him among his people when he left for 
the Tur Mountain [Mount Sinai]. The gist of the Prophet's statement would be something 
like: "You are to me, during this Battle of Tabuk, like Aaron to Moses who had to depart to 
communicate with his Lord." 

3) Your arbitraters may even say that this hadith is not a binding proof, even if its 
implication is general, and a restricted hadith cannot be applied in its general sense, and 
peace be with you. 

Sincerely, 

5 



Letter 30 

I Arabs Regard it General, 
II Disproving Claim of Restriction, 
Disproving its Non-Binding Application 



Sayyid 'Abd al-Husayn Sharaf al-Din al-Musawi 



Al-Muraja'at 124 
Shi'i-Sunni dialogue 



Thul-Hijjah 22, 1329 

1) We refer their argument that the hadith lacks a general application to Arabs who are very 
well familiar with their language and grammar. You are the Arabs' authority whose view is 
invincible and undisputed. Do you see your nation doubting the generality of this status 
hadith? I do not think so. You are above that. Persons of your prestige do not doubt the 
generality of the additive gender and its inclusion of all implications. If you, for example, 
say: "I have granted you my judicial power," will your power be restricted to a few matters 
rather than others? Or will your statement be general and inclusive of all implications? Allah 
be Praised! You do not see it other than general, and its meaning as inclusive! If the 
Muslims' ruler says to one of his subjects: "I have appointed you my own vicegerent over 
people," or "granted you my own status, or position, over them, or granted you my own 
wealth," will it come to mind anything other than the general meaning of such a statement? 
Or will the speaker wish to select some matters rather than others? If he said to one of his 
ministers: "You may enjoy during my lifetime the same position 'Umer enjoyed during the 
lifetime of Abu Bakr, but you are not my friend," would this statement be seen, according to 
common rules, as implying a few situations rather than all? I do not see you saying 
accepting anything other than its general application, and I do not doubt at all that you 
interpret the statement of the holy Prophet: "Your status to me is like that of Aaron to 
Moses" except as indicative of generality of application, following the guidelines of its 
similar texts in the Arabic language and its norms of speech, especially when he excluded 
Prophethood, thus making its generality inclusive of everything else quite clear. You are 
surrounded by Arabs; so, ask them if you wish. 

2) As regarding the debater's statement claiming that this hadith is restricted to its context, 
this claim is rejected on two grounds: 

First, the hadith itself is generalizing, as you know. The assumption "If we presume that it is 
specific" does not exclude it from its general meaning, because whoever makes an 
assumption does not confine his assumption to only one single possibility. Say, if one person 
in the state of najasa (impurification) touches Surat al-Kursi [verse of the Throne] for 
example, and you tell him: "Nobody in the state of najasa should touch the holy Qur'an," 
will your statement be confined to Surat al-Kursi only, or will it be general regarding the 
entire text of the holy Qur'an? I cannot imagine that anyone will understand that it is 
restricted to Surat al-Kursi in particular. If a physician sees his patient eating dates and 
forbids him from eating anything sweet, will the prohibition be taken to imply only dates, or 
will it be general to include evertything sweet? I do not consider the one who claims its 
meaning to be restricted as one adhering to the common concepts of the basics of language; 
rather, he will then be distant from its grammar, far from commonsense, a foreigner to our 
world. So is the one who claims that the status hadith is applied specifically to the Battle of 
Tabuk alone; there is no difference between both cases. 

Second, this hadith was not articulated by the Prophet (pbuh) upon leaving 'Ali (as) as his 
representative in Medina during the Battle of Tabuk; otherwise, the debater will have had the 
right to claim its restricted application. Our sahih books are sequential through the Imams 
among the Prophet's purified progeny (as) proving that it was said on other occasions to 
which the researcher may refer. Sunni sunan bear witness to this fact, as researchers know. 
We say that the wording of this hadith testifies to the fact that the claim that it was said only 



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Al-Muraja'at 125 
Shi'i-Sunni dialogue 



during the Battle of Tabuk is groundless, as is already obvious. 



3) Their claim that the specified generalization cannot be binding over the rest is an obvious 
mistake and a serious error. Nobody would say so except one who approaches matters like 
someone riding a blind animal in a dark night. We seek refuge with Allah against ignorance, 
and we thank Him for our sound health. Specifying the general does not exclude it from 
being applied as a testimony against the rest as long as the specified matter is not general, 
especially if it is related to this hadith. If a master tells his servant: "Be generous to everyone 
who is visiting me today save Zayd." If the servant surrounds only Zayd with generosity, he 
will not only be disobeying his master and become liable for his error, according to the 
judgment of all the wise, he will also deserve to be punished a punishment commensurate 
with his mistake. No wise man would listen to his excuse if he produces one; nay, even his 
excuse will seem to them to be even worse than his guilt. This is so only because of its 
obvious general implication, having been specified, regarding the rest, as is obvious. 

You very well know that Muslims have always been accustomed to use as proof the 
specified generalizations without any exception. The ancestors among the companions and 
the tabrin, as well as those who followed the latter, and so on till today, especially the 
Imams among the progeny of the Prophet (pbuh) and all other Imams among the Muslims, 
do just that. This is a matter which does not need raising any doubts. Suffices you for proof 
what the four Imams and other Mujtahids have said in their chapters on being aware of the 
branches of legislative rules as proofs of their explanations. The wheel of knowledge has 
been spinning on acting upon generally accepted facts. There is nothing general that does 
not have room for a specification. If these generalities are dropped, the door of knowledge 
will be shaken. We seek refuge with Allah, and peace be with you. 

Sincerely, 

Sh 



Letter 31 

Requesting Sources of this Hadith 



Thul-Hijjah 22, 1329 

You have not provided any proof testifying to this hadith as being said on any occasion 
besides that of Tabuk. I am very eager to be acquainted with its pristine sources; so, please 
take me to its foundain-heads, and peace be with you. 

Sincerely, 

5 



Sayyid 'Abd al-Husayn Sharaf al-Din al-Musawi 



Al-Muraja'at 126 
Shi'i-Sunni dialogue 



Sayyid 'Abd al-Husayn Sharaf al-Din al-Musawi 



Al-Muraja'at 127 
Shi'i-Sunni dialogue 



Letter 32 

I Among Its Sources: the Prophet's Visit to Umm Salim, 

II The Case of Hamzah's Daughter, 

III Leaning on 'Ali, 

IV The First Fraternity, 

V The Second Fraternity, 

VI Closing the Doors, 

VII The Prophet Comparing 'Ali and Aaron to the Two Stars 



Thul-Hijjah 24, 1329 

1) One of its sources is the discourse of the Prophet (pbuh) with Umm Salim, JTL a woman of 
lengthy achievements, a woman of wisdom who enjoyed a special prestigious status with 
the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) due to being among the foremost in accepting Islam, and 
because of her sincerity, contributions, and sacrifices in the cause of Islam. The Prophet 
(pbuh) used to visit her and talk to her at her own house. One day, he said to her: "O Umm 
Salim (mother of Salim)! v Ali's flesh is of mine, and his blood is of my own; he is to me like 
Aaron to Moses. "[21 It is obvious that this hadith is only an excerpt of his lengthy hadith 
which is stated for the purpose of conveying the truth and providing advice for the sake of 
Allah in order to highlight the status of his vicegerent, the one who would take his own 
place (of responsibility) once he is gone, and it cannot be confined to the Battle of Tabuk. 

2) A similar hadith was made in the case of Hamzah's daughter in whose regard v Ali, JaTer 
and Zayd disputed. The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said then: "O 'Ali! You are to me like 
Aaron to Moses, etc." 

3) Another incident occurred when Abu Bakr, v Umer, and Abu 'Ubaydah ibn al-Jarrah were 
in the company of the Prophet (pbuh) who was leaning on v Ali. The Prophet (pbuh) patted 
'Ali's shoulder and said: "O v Ali! You are the strongest among the believers in faith, the first 
(man) to embrace Islam, and your status to me is similar to that of Aaron to Moses. "£31 

4) The ahadith narrated during the First Fraternity also include this text. These were made in 
Mecca prior to the migration, when the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) consummated 
brotherhood among the emigrants in particular. 

5) On the occasion of the Second Fraternity, while in Medina, five months after the 
migration, the Prophet (pbuh) made fraternity between the emigrants (Muhajirun) and the 
supporters (Ansar). In both events, he (pbuh) chose v Ali as his brother,[4_L thus preferring 



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Al-Muraja'at 128 
Shi'i-Sunni dialogue 

him over all others, saying to him: "You are to me like Aaron to Moses except there will be 
no Prophet after me." Narrations in this regard are consecutively reported. Refer to what 
others state about the First Fraternity such as the hadith narrated by Zayd ibn Abu 'Awfah. 
Imam Ahmed ibn Hanbal has included it in his book Manaqib K Ali, Ibn 'Asakir in his 
Tarikh,\5] al-Baghwi and al-Tabrani in their Mujmas, al-Barudi in his Al-Marifa, by Ibn 
'Adi[61 and others. 

The hadith under discussion is quite lengthy, and it contains guidelines about how to 
establish brotherhood. It ends with: '"Ali said: 'O Messenger of Allah! My soul has expired, 
and my spine has been broken, having seen what you have done for your companions while 
leaving me alone. If this is a sign of your anger with me, then I complain only to you and 
beg your pardon.' The Messenger of Allah said: 'I swear by the One Who sent me to convey 
the truth about Him, I have not spared you except for my own self. You are to me like 
Aaron to Moses, except there will be no Prophet after me. You are my Brother, heir and 
companion.' 'Ali (as) asked him: "What shall I inherit from you?' He (pbuh) answered: 
'Whatever Prophets before me left for those who inherited them: the Book of their Lord, 
and the Sunnah of their Prophet. You will be my companion in my house in Paradise 
together with my daughter Fatima. You are my Brother and Companion.' Then he, peace be 
upon him and his progeny, recited the verse: 'They are brethren seated conveniently facing 
each other,'" referring to the brethren whose hearts Allah has joined in affection who look at 
each other with sincere compassion. 

Refer also to the events of the Second Fraternity. Al-Tabrani, in his Al-Tafsir Al-Kabir, 
quotes Ibn 'Abbas reporting one hadith stating that the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said to 
'Ali (as): "Are you angry because I have established brotherhood between the Ansar and the 
Muhajirun and have not selected a brother for you from among them? Are you not pleased 
that your status to me is like that of Aaron to Moses, except there will be no Prophet after 
me? "Ill 

6) The same hadith was also said when the companions' doors overlooking the Prophet's 
mosque in Medina were ordered closed except that of 'Ali. Jabir ibn 'Abdullah quotes the 
Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his progeny, saying: "O 'Ali! It is permissible 
for you to do at this mosque whatever is permissible for me, and you are to me like Aaron to 
Moses, except there will be no Prophet after me." Huthayfah ibn 'Asid al-Ghifari has said 
that the Prophet, peace be upon him and his progeny, once delivered a khutba on the 
occasion of closing those doors in which he said: "There are some men who have disliked 
that I got them out of the mosque while keeping 'Ali. Allah, the Dear and Mighty, inspired 
to Moses and his brother to reside with their people in Egypt and make their homes a qibla 
and say their prayers," till he said: '"Ali to me is like Aaron to Moses. He is my Brother, 
and none of you is allowed to cohabit therein other than he." 

The sources of this hadith are numerous, and they cannot all be counted in a brief letter like 
this, yet I hope that what I have stated here suffices to falsify the claim that the status hadith 
is confined only to the Battle of Tabuk. How much can such a claim weigh in the light of 
abundance of sources of this hadith? 

7) Anyone who is familiar with the biography of the Prophet (pbuh) will find him, peace be 
upon him and his progeny, describing 'Ali and Aaron as the two bright stars arranged alike, 
neither one differing from the other. This by itself is a testimony to the generality of status 
of this hadith, yet the generality of the status is what comes to mind regardless of any 



Sayyid 'Abd al-Husayn Sharaf al-Din al-Musawi 



Al-Muraja'at 129 
Shi'i-Sunni dialogue 



pretext, as we have explained above, and peace be with you. 
Sincerely, 

5/7 



m She is daughter of Milhan ibn Khalid al-Ansari and sister of Haram ibn Milhan. Her 
father and brother were martyred in the company of the Prophet (pbuh). She possessed a 
great deal of accomplishment and wisdom. She narrated a few ahadith of the Prophet 
(pbuh), and she is quoted by her son Anas, in addition to Ibn "Abbas, Zayd ibn Thabit, Abu 
Salamah ibn "Abdul-Rahman, and by others. She is considered to be in the first row of those 
who accepted and supported the Islamic faith, and she herself was a caller to Islam. During 
the pre-Islamic period of jahiliyya, she was in love with Malik ibn al-Nadar from whom she 
conceived her son Anas ibn Malik. At the dawn of Islam, she was among the foremost to 
embrace it, and she invited her husband Malik to believe in Allah and His Messenger, but he 
refused; so, she deserted him, and he in his rage moved to Syria where he died as a kafir. 
She advised her son, who was then ten years old, to serve the Prophet (pbuh), and the 
Prophet (pbuh) accepted his service in order to please her. Many Arab men of prestige 
sought her hand, but she always used to say: "I shall not get married except when Anas 
reaches manhood;" so, Anas always used to say: "May Allah reward my mother, for she 
took very good care of me." Due to her own influence, Abu Talhah al-Ansari became 
Muslim. He sought her hand when he was still kafir, but she refused to marry him unless he 
embraced Islam; so, he accepted her invitation to embrace the new faith, and his dowery to 
her was his own acceptance of Islam. She conceived a son by him, but the baby fell sick and 
died; so, she said: "Nobody should mention his death to his father before me." When her 
husband came home and inquired about his son, she said: "He is in most content;" so he 
thought that she meant their son was asleep. She served him his dinner, then she put on her 
best clothes and perfume, and he went to bed with her. The next day she said to him: "Pray 
for your son's soul." Abu Talha narrated this story to the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) who 
said to him: "Allah blessed you last night." She continues to say that he (pbuh) invoked 
Allah to provide me with what I wanted and even more. In that same night, she conceived 
"Abdullah ibn Abu Talha upon whom Allah showered His blessings. He is the father of 
Ishaq ibn "Abdullah ibn Abu Talha, the faqih, and his brothers were ten; each one of them 
was a man of knowledge. Umm Salim used to participate in the Prophet's military 
campaigns. On the Day of Uhud, she had a dagger to stab any infidel who would come near 
her. She rendered Islam a great service, and I do not know any woman besides her whom 
the Prophet (pbuh) used to visit in her own house and she would offer him a present. She 
was aware of the status of his progeny, knowledgeable of their rights... May Allah shower 
His choicest mercy on her. 

[21 This hadith, I mean Umm Salim's, is number 2554 of the ones numbered in Kanz al- 
^Ummal as narrated on page 154 of its sixth volume. It also exists in Muntakhab al-Kanz; 
so, refer to the last line of the footnote on page 31 of Volume 5 of Ahmed's Musnad, where 
you will find it verbatim. 

[3_1 This is quoted by al-Hasan ibn Badr, al-Hakim in his chapter on kunyat, al-Shirazi in his 
chapter on surnames, volume six, and by Ibn al-Najjar. It is hadith 6029 and also 6032 of 



Sayyid 'Abd al-Husayn Sharaf al-Din al-Musawi 



Al-Muraja'at 130 
Shi'i-Sunni dialogue 



the ones numbered in Kanz al-^Ummal, page 395. 



[41 Discussing the biography of v Ali (as) in his IstPab, Ibn v Abd al-Birr describes him thus: 
"He made brotherhood with the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his progeny, 
among the immigrants, then between the immigrants and the supporters. In each of these 
instances, he (pbuh) said to "Ali (as): v You are my brother in this life and the life hereafter,' 
then he made brotherhood between himself and v Ali (as)." The details are in the books of 
traditions and history. For the details of the first brotherhood, refer to page 26, Vol. 2, of Al- 
Sira al-Halabiyya, and in the second brotherhood on page 120, Vol. 2, also of Al-Sira al- 
Halabiyya, where you will find how the Prophet (pbuh) favoured v Ali (as) in both occasions 
over everyone else. In Al-Sira al-Dahlaniyya, the details of the circumstances of the first 
brotherhood and those of the second are similar to what is published in Al-Sira al- 
Halabiyya. The author also stated that the second brotherhood took place five months after 
the migration. 

£5_1 This is quoted from Ahmed and Ibn " Asakir by a group of trusted authorities such as al- 
Muttaqi al-Hindi; so, refer to hadith 918 of his Kanz al-^Ummal at the beginning of page 40 
of its fifth volume. It is also quoted on page 390, Vol. 6, from Ahmed's book Manaqib ^Ali, 
numbering it hadith 4972. 

£6_1 This is quoted from these Imams by a group of trusted authorities such as al-Muttaqi al- 
Hindi at the beginning of page 41, Vol. 5, of of his Kanz al-^Ummal, numbering it hadith 
919. 

[71 This is quoted by al-Muttaqi al-Hindi in his Kanz al-^Ummal and Al-Muntakhab; so, 
refer to the Muntakhab's footnote on page 3 1 of its fifth volume regarding Ahmed's Musnad, 
and you will find it verbatim just as we have quoted it here. It is not difficult to sift the gist 
of the phrase "You have angered v Ali (as)" and comprehend the meanings of 
companionship, compassion, and the love of a compassionate and kind father to his son. If 
you wonder how v Ali had some doubts in the second time he was left behind, although in 
the first time he had some doubt, too, then he found out that the Prophet, peace be upon him 
and his progeny, had kept him there just for himself, and why he did not consider the second 
incident in the light of the first. The answer is that the second incident could not be 
compared with the first one, for the first was regarding the immigrants in particular; so, the 
comparison did not forbid the prophet (pbuh) from creating brotherhood with "Ali (as), 
contrary to the second which was between the immigrants and the supporters. One 
immigrant in the second instance may be joined in brotherhood to a supporter, and vice 
versa. Since the prophet and the wasi were both immigrants, the assumption in the second 
instance was that they should not be brothers; so, 'Ali thought that his brother would be a 
supporter, just like others by way of comparison. When the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) did 
not create brotherhood between him and any of the supporters, some doubt entertained his 
mind, but Allah and His Messenger insisted on favouring him, and so it was: he and the 
Messenger of Allah (pbuh) became brothers, contrary to the common norm of practice 
among all the immigrants and supporters at that time and place. 



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Al-Muraja'at 131 
Shi'i-Sunni dialogue 



Letter 33 

When was 'Ali and Aaron Described as the Two Stars? 



Thul-Hijjah 25, 1329 

It has not been clarified yet what you claim that he, peace be upon him and his progeny, 
used to describe v Ali and Aaron as the two stars which are alike; when did he do that? 

Sincerely, 

5 



Letter 34 

I The Occasion of Shabar, Shubayr, and Mushbir, 

II The Occasion of Fraternity, 

III The Occasion of Closing the Doors. 

Thul-Hijjah 27, 1329 

Research the biography of the Prophet, peace be upon him and his progeny, and you will 
find him describing 'Ali and Aaron as two bright stars in the heart of the skies, the eyes 
positioned in the face, neither of them is distinguished in his nation from the other. 

1) Have you noticed how he, peace be upon him and his progeny, had insisted that v Ali 
should name his sons just like Aaron did, calling them Hasan, Husayn, and Muhsin? He (as) 
has said: "I have named them after Aaron's sons, Shabar, Shubayr, and Mushbir,'TH 
intending thereby to emphasize the similarity between himself and Aaron, and generalizing 
such a similarity in all areas and aspects. 

2) For the same reason, 'Ali has cherished his brother and favoured him over all others, thus 
achieving the goal of generalizing the similarity of both Aarons to their respective brothers, 
making sure that there must be no difference between them. He, peace be upon him and his 
progeny, created brotherhood among his companions, as stated above, making, in the first 
incident, Abu Bakr brother of v Umer, and 'Uthman brother of 'Abdul-Rahman ibn v Awf. In 
the Second Fraternity, Abu Bakr became brother of Kharijah ibn Zayd, and v Umer was 
made brother of "Atban ibn Malik. Yet on both occasions, 'Ali was made brother of the 
Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his progeny, as you have come to know. 

There is no room here to quote all verified texts citing Ibn v Abbas, Ibn 'Umer, Zayd ibn 
Sayyid 'Abd al-Husayn Sharaf al-Din al-Musawi 



Al-Muraja'at 132 
Shi'i-Sunni dialogue 

Arqam, Zayd ibn Abu v Awfah, Anas ibn Malik, Huthayfah ibn al-Yemani, Makhduj ibn 
Yazid, v Umer ibn al-Khattab, al-Bara' ibn v Azib, v Ali ibn Abu Talib, and others narrating 
this hadith as such. The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) has also said to 'Ali: "You are my 
Brother in this life and the life hereafter. "[21 In Letter No. 20, we stated how he (pbuh) took 
v Ali by the neck, saying: "This is my Brother, vicegerent and successor among you; 
therefore, listen to him and obey him." He, peace be upon him and his progeny, came out to 
meet his companions with a broad smile on his face. 'Abdul-Rahman ibn 'Awf asked him 
what pleased him so much. He answered: "It is due to a piece of good news which I have 
just received from my Lord regarding my brother and cousin, and also regarding my 
daughter. The Almighty has chosen "Ali a husband fot Fatima." When the Mistress of all 
women of the world was wed to the master of the Prophet's progeny (as), the Prophet, peace 
be upon him and his progeny, said: "O Umm Ayman! Bring me my brother." Umm Ayman 
asked: "He is your brother, and you still marry him to your daughter?!" He said: "Yes, 
indeed, Umm Ayman." She called "Ali in.[31 

Quite often, the Prophet (as) used to point to 'Ali and say: "This is my brother, cousin, son- 
in-law, and father of my descendants. "[41 Once he spoke to him and said: "You are my 
brother and companion." In another occasion, he said to him: "You are my brother, friend, 
and companion in Paradise." He once addressed him in a matter that was between him, his 
brother JaTer, and Zayd ibn Harithah, saying: "O "Ali! You are, indeed, my brother and the 
father of my descendants. You are of me and for me. "[51 He made a covenant with him once 
saying: "You are my brother and vizier; you complete my religion, fulfill my promise, pay 
my debts on my behlf, and clear my conscience. "[61 When death approached him, may both 
my parents be sacrificed for him, he said: "Fetch me my brother." They called 'Ali in. He 
said to him: "Come close to me." v Ali (as) did. He kept whispering in his ears till his pure 
soul departed from his body. v Ali even caught some of the Prophet's saliva. T71 

The Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his progeny, has also said: "It is written on 
the gate of Paradise: "There is no god but Allah, Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, v Ali 
is the Brother of the Messenger of Allah. '"[81 The Almighty, when the Prophet left v Ali 
sleeping in his bed while the enemies were outside plotting to murder him, addressed 
Gabriel and Michael thus: "I have created brotherhood between both of you and let the life- 
span of one of you be longer than that of the other. Which one of you wishes to have the life 
of the other be longer than his own?" Each held his own life dearer. The Almighty said: 
"Why can't you be like v Ali ibn Abu Talib between whom and Muhammad (pbuh) I have 
created brotherhood, and he has chosen to sleep in Muhammad's bed, offering to sacrifice 
his own life for his brother? Go down to earth and protect him from his foes." They both 
came down. Gabriel stood at "Ali's head while Michael stood at his feet. Gabriel cried: 
"Congratulations! Congratulations! Who can be like you, O son of Abu Talib? Even Allah 
brags about you to His angels!" Regarding that incident, the verse "And there are among 
men those who trade their own lives for the Pleasure of Allah (Qur'an, 2:207)" was 
revealed. [91 

" Ali himself is quoted saying: "I am the servant of Allah and the Brother of His Messenger. 
I am the strongest in believing in the Prophet. Nobody else can say so except a liar. " [ 101 He 
has also said: "By Allah! I am his Brother and wali, his cousin and the inheritor of his 
knowledge; who else is more worthy of it than me?" |Tll On the Day of Shura, he said to 
'Uthman, v Abdul-Rahman, Sa v d, and al-Zubayr: "Do you know of anyone among the 
Muslims other than myself with whom the Messenger of Allah established Brotherhood?" 
They answered: "We bear witness, no. "[121 When v Ali stood to duel with al-Walid during 



Sayyid 'Abd al-Husayn Sharaf al-Din al-Musawi 



Al-Muraja'at 133 
Shi'i-Sunni dialogue 

the Battle of Badr, the latter asked him: "Who are you?" 'Ali answered: "I am the servant of 
Allah and the brother of His Messenger. "£131 When 'Umer was caliph, 'Ali asked him: [ 141 
"Suppose some Israelites come to you and one of them told you that he was cousin of 
Moses, would he receive a preferred treatment than the others?" 'Umer answered: "Yes, 
indeed." 'Ali said: "I, by Allah, am the brother of the Messenger of Allah and his cousin." 
'Umer took off his mantle and spread it for 'Ali to sit on, saying: "By Allah, you will sit 
nowhere else other than on my own mantle till each one of us goes his way." 'Ali did so 
while 'Umer was pleased by that gesture of respect for the brother and cousin of the 
Messenger of Allah as long as he was in his company. 

3) Well, I seem to have lost control over my pen. The Prophet, peace be upon him and his 
progeny, ordered the doors of his companions' houses overlooking the mosque to be closed 
for good, as a measure to protect the mosque's sanctity against janaba or najasa, but he 
allowed 'Ali's door to remain open, permitting him to cross the mosque's courtyard even 
while being in the state of janaba, just as Aaron was permitted to do, thus providing another 
proof for the similarity of positions of both men, peace be upon them, in their respective 
creeds and nations. Ibn 'Abbas has said: "The Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and 
his progeny, ordered all the doors of his companions closed except that of 'Ali who used to 
enter even while in the state of janaba, having no other way out. "£151 Umer ibn al-Khattab 
has narrated an authentic hadith which has been reproduced in both sahih books wherein he 
says: T 161 '"Ali ibn Abu Talib was granted three tokens of prestige; had I had one of them, it 
would have been dearer to me than all red camels [of Arabia]: his wife Fatima daughter of 
the Messenger of Allah, his residence at the mosque neighbouring the Messenger of Allah 
and feeling at home therein, and the standard during the Battle of Khaybar." 

Sa'id ibn Malik, as quoted in an authentic hadith, once mentioned a few unique merits of 
" Ali and said: "The Messenger of Allah turned out everyone from the mosque, including his 
uncle al-' Abbas and others. A1-' Abbas asked him: "Why do you turn us out and keep 'Ali?' 
He, peace be upon him and his progeny, answered: 'It is not I who has turned you out and 
kept 'AIL It is Allah who has turned you out while keeping him. '"£171 Zayd ibn Arqam has 
said: "A few companions of the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) used to have the doors of their 
houses overlooking the mosque. The Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his 
progeny, then said: "Close down all these doors except 'Ali's.' Some people did not like it, 
and they talked about it. So, the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his progeny, 
stood one day, praised the Almighty then said: 'I have ordered these doors to be closed save 
'Ali's, and some of you have disliked that. I have not closed down a door nor opened it, nor 
gave any order, except after being commanded by my Lord to do so. '"£181 

Quoting Ibn 'Abbas, Al-Tabrani has said that the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him 
and his progeny, stood up once and said: "I have not turned you out acting on my own 
personal desire, nor have I left a door open out of my own personal preference. I only follow 
whatever inspiration I receive from my Lord. "£191 And the Messenger of Allah said once to 
Ali (as): "O 'Ali! It is not permissible for anybody other than your own self to be present [in 
the mosque] while being in the state of janaba." \20] Sa'd ibn Abu Waqqas, al-Bara' ibn 
'Azib, Ibn 'Abbas, Ibn 'Umer, and Huthayfah ibn al-Yemani, have all said: "The Messenger 
of Allah, peace be upon him and his progeny, came out to the mosque once and said: 'Allah 
inspired to his Prophet Moses to build Him a pure mosque in which nobody other than 
Moses and Aaron would live. Allah has inspired to me to build a sanctified mosque wherein 
only I and my brother 'Ali are permitted to sleep. '"£211 



Sayyid 'Abd al-Husayn Sharaf al-Din al-Musawi 



Al-Muraja'at 134 
Shi'i-Sunni dialogue 

There is no room here to state all the ascertained texts narrated by Ibn v Abbas, Abu Sa'id al- 
Khudri, Zayd ibn Arqam, a companion from the tribe of KhatrTam, Asma' bint "Amis, Umm 
Salamah, Huthayfah ibn Asid, Sa'd ibn Abu Waqqas, al-Bara' ibn 'Azib, 'Ali ibn Abu Talib, 
'Umer, "Abdullah ibn "Umer, Abu Tharr al-Ghifari, Abul Tufail, Buraydah al-Aslami, Abu 
Rafi\ freed slave of the Messenger of Allah, Jabir ibn v Abdullah al-Ansari, and others have 
all narrated the same hadith. It is also well known that the Messenger of Allah, peace be 
upon him and his progeny, invoked the Almighty once saying: "O Lord! The my brother 
Moses had prayed you saying: 'Lord! Remove depression from my chest, untie my tongue's 
knot so that people may understand my speech, and let my brother Aaron be my vizier from 
among my household to support me in my undertaking and participate therein,' and you, 
Lord, responded with: "We shall support you through your brother and bestow upon you a 
great authority (Qur'an, 28:35).' Lord! I am your servant Muhammad; therefore, I invoke 
you to remove depression from my chest, to make my undertaking easier to carry out, and to 
let "Ali be my brother from among my household. "[221 

Al-Bazzaz has likewise indicated that the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his 
progeny, took "Ali's hand and said: "Moses had prayed his Lord to purify His mosque 
through Aaron, and I have prayed my Lord to purify mine through you." He then sent a 
messenger to Abu Bakr ordering him to close down his door which overlooked the mosque, 
and Abu Bakr responded expressing his desire to honour the Prophet's command. Then he 
sent another messenger to "Umer to do likewise, and another to al-" Abbas for the same 
purpose. Then he, peace be upon him and his progeny, said: "It is not I who has closed 
down your doors, nor have I kept v Ali's door open out of my own accord; rather, it is Allah 
Who has opened his door and closed yours." 

This much suffices to prove the similarity between v Ali and Aaron in all circumstances and 
conditions, and peace be with you. 

Sincerely, 

5/7 



f 1 1 This is quoted by the traditionists according to their own authentic sources of the 
traditions of the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his progeny. Refer to pages 
265 and 168, Vol. 3, of Al-Mustadrak, and you will find the text of this hadith described as 
authentic according to the endorsement of both Shaykhs. Imam Ahmed has also quoted it 
from v Ali's hadith on page 98, Vol. 1, of his Musnad. Ibn v Abdel-Birr, too, quotes the 
biography of the grandson of the Prophet al-Hasan (as) from IstPab, and even al-Thahbi 
quotes it in his Talkhis, taking its authenticity for granted, in spite of his fanaticism and 
deviation from this nation's Aaron, and from its Shabar and Shubayr. It is also quoted by al- 
Baghwi in his Mujam, and v Abdul-Ghani from his Idah, as is recorded on page 115 of Al- 
Sawaiq al-Muhriqa, from Salman whose text is almost similar, and also from Ibn v Asakir. 

[21 Al-Hakim has quoted it on page 14, Vol. 3, of his Al-Mustadrak as narrated by Ibn 
'Umer from two authentic sources and endorsed by both Shaykhs. Al-Thahbi has also 
quoted it in his Talkhis, taking its authenticity for granted. Al-Tirmithi, too, quotes it as 
cited by Ibn Hajar on page 72 of his Al-Sawa^iq al-Muhriqa; so, refer to the seventh hadith 
of the ones included in Section 2 of Chapter 9 of Al-Sawa^iq al-Muhriqa. All those who 



Sayyid 'Abd al-Husayn Sharaf al-Din al-Musawi 



Al-Muraja'at 135 
Shi'i-Sunni dialogue 

have discussed the brotherhood hadith among writers of traditions and chronicles have 
accepted it without any argument. 

[31 This is quoted by al-Hakim on page 159, Vol. 3, of his Al-Mustadrak. Al-Thahbi, too, 
has quoted it in his Talkhis, admitting its authenticity. Ibn Hajar copies it in Chapter 1 1 of 
his Al-Sawa^iq al-Muhriqa. All those who wrote about the wedding of al-Zahra' (as) have, 
without any exception, mentioned it. 

[41 This is included by al-Shirazi in his chapter on surnames, and by Ibn al-Najjar who 
quotes Ibn v Umer. Al-Muttaqi al-Hindi has transmitted it in his Kanz al-^Ummal and Al- 
Muntakhab which he attaches to the footnote of his Musnad; so, refer to the second line of 
the footnote on page 32 of its fifth volume. 

[51 Al-Hakim quotes it on page 217, Vol. 3, of his Mustadrak, the authenticity of whose 
narrators is endorsed by Muslim. Al-Thahbi has admitted the same in his own Talkhis. 

[61 Al-Tabrani has quoted it in his Al-Kabir from Ibn v Umer, and it is transmitted by al- 
Muttaqi al-Hindi in his Kanz al-^Ummal as well as Al-Muntakhab; so, refer to Al- 
Muntakhab to see the inclusion of the footnote on page 32, Vol. 5, of the Musnad. 

[71 This is quoted by Ibn Sa v d on page 51, Part Two, Vol. 2, of his Tabaqat, and also on 
page 55, Vol. 4, of Kanz al-^Ummal. 

[81 This is quoted by al-Tabrani in his Al-Awsat, by al-Khatib in his Al-Muttafaq wal- 
Muftaraq, and it is transmitted by the author of Kanz al-"Ummal; so, refer to Al-Muntakhab 
and see the inclusion of a footnote on page 35, Vol. 5, of Ahmed's Musnad. It is also 
transmitted by Ibn 'Asakir in his footnote on page 46. 

[91 This is quoted by authors of books of traditions in their respective works, and it is briefly 
referred to by Imam Fakhrul-Din al-Razi as he interprets this verse of Surat al-Baqara, on 
page 189, Vol. 2, of his Al-Tafsir al-Kabir. 

r 101 This is quoted by al-Nisa'i in Al-Khasa'is al-^Alawiyya, and by al-Hakim at the 
beginning of page 1 12, Vol. 3, of his Al-Mustadrak, by Abu Shaybah and Ibn Abu v Asim in 
Al-Sunnah, and by Abu Na'im vaAl-Ma^rifa. It is also transmitted by al-Muttaqi al-Hindi in 
Kanz al-^Ummal and Muntakhab al-Kanz. Refer to Al-Muntakhab and read what Ahmed has 
included in the footnote on page 40, Vol. 5, of his Musnad. 

[11] Refer to page 126, Vol. 3, of the Al-Mustadrak. It is quoted by al-Thahbi in his Talkhis, 
where the author does not dispute its authenticity at all. 

fl 21 This is quoted by Ibn "Abdl al-Birr in v Ali's biography in the IstPab, in addition to 
many other trusted authorities. 

r 1 31 This is quoted by Ibn Sa'd while discussing Badr's military campaign in his Tabaqat, 
page 15, part One, Vol. 2. 

r 141 As Dar Qutni quotes in the fifth maqsad of the Maqasid of the verse enjoining kindness 
to the Prophet's kin, and it is verse 14 of the ones counted by Ibn Hajar in Part 1 1 of his Al- 



Sayyid 'Abd al-Husayn Sharaf al-Din al-Musawi 



Al-Muraja'at 136 
Shi'i-Sunni dialogue 



Sawa"iq al-Muhriqa; so, refer to page 107 of Al-Sawalq al-Muhriqa. 



[151 This hadith is quite lengthy, and it contains ten exclusive merits of v Ali, and we have 
quoted it Letter No. 26. 

r 1 61 It exists on page 125, Vol. 3, of Al-Mustadrak. It is quoted by Abu YaTi, as stated in 
Part 3, Chapter 9, of Al-Sawa^iq al-Muhriqa; so, refer to page 76 of this book. It is also 
quoted in this meaning in almost similar wording by Ahmed ibn Hanbal while quoting 
ahadith by "Umer and his son v Abdullah, and by many other trusted traditionists through 
various avenues. 

f 171 As stated at the beginning of page 17, Vol. 3, of Al-Mustadrak. This hadith is included 
in Sunni books of traditions, and it is quoted by many trusted Sunni authorities. 

r 1 81 As quoted about him by Ahmed on page 369, Vol. 4, of the Musnad. It is also quoted 
by al-Diya as stated in Kanz al-^Ummal and its Muntakhab; so, refer to Al-Muntakhab to see 
what is included in the footnote for page 29 of the fifth volume of the Musnad. 

r 191 As he is quoted by al-Muttaqi al-Hindi at the end of the footnote on the page referred to 
above. 

r201 As quoted by al-Tirmithi in his Sahih and quoted from him by al-Muttaqi al-Hindi as 
we have stated when referring to his Muntakhab. It is also quoted by al-Bazzaz from Sa v d, 
as stated in hadith 13 of the ahadith which Ibn Hajar quotes in Section 2, Chapter 9, of his 
Al-Sawa"iq al-Muhriqa; so, refer to page 73 of the same. 

f21 1 As they are quoted by v Ali ibn Muhammad al-Khatib, the Shaffi faqih who is better 
known as Ibn al-Maghazli, in his book Al-Manaqib from various sources, and transmitted by 
the trusted researcher al-Balkhi in Chapter 17 of his Yanabi" al-Mawaddah. 

\T1\ This is quoted by Imam Abu Ishaq al-ThaTabi from Abu Tharr al-Ghifari in his 
interpretation of the following verse of Surat al-Ma'ida: "Verily, your wali are: Allah, His 
Messenger, and the Believers," in his Al-Tafsir al-Kabir, similar to which is transmitted 
from Imam Ahmed's Musnad by the Balkhi researcher. 



Letter 35 

Requesting Other Texts 

Thul-Hijjah 27, 1329 

May Allah reward your father! How eloquent your arguments and how convincing! 
Please oblige and go ahead to state the rest of the clear consecutively reported 
(mutawatir) texts, Wassalamo Alaikom. 

Sincerely, 



Sayyid 'Abd al-Husayn Sharaf al-Din al-Musawi 



Al-Muraja'at 137 
Shi'i-Sunni dialogue 



Letter 36 

I Hadith by Ibn ^ Abbas, 

II 'Umran's Hadith, 

III Buraydah's Hadith, 

IV Hadith Recounting Ten Exclusive Attributes [of x Ali], 

V x Ali's Hadith, 

VI Wahab's Hadith, 

VII Ibn Abu ^Asim's Hadith. 



Thul-Hijjah 29, 1329 

1) Refer to what Abu Dawud al-Tayalisi has reported, as stated in a chapter discussing 
v Ali in IstVab through the authority of Ibn v Abbas who is quoted saying: "The Messenger 
of Allah, peace be upon him and his progeny, has said to v Ali ibn Abu Talib: "You are 
next to me alone as the wali of every believer. '"JJJ 

2) Another authentic hadith is narrated by "Umran ibn Hasin who says: "The Messenger 
of Allah, peace be upon him and his progeny, deployed an army division under the 
command of v Ali ibn Abu Talib who chose, as his share of the khums, a slave-girl for 
himself, and people criticized him. Four men vowed to complain against him to the 
Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his progeny. When they came to the Prophet, 
one of them stood up and said: O Messenger of Allah! Have you seen how 'AH has done 
such and such?' The Prophet (pbuh) turned his face away from him. The second stood up 
and spoke likewise, and the Prophet (pbuh) ignored him, too. The third stood up and 
repeated what his fellows had previously stated, and he, too, was ignored. The fourth one 
stood up and stated exactly as had been stated by his fellows. It was then that the 
Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his progeny, turned to them with anger in his 
eyes and said: 'What do you want of v Ali? v Ali is of me and I am of him, and only after 
me is he the mawla of all believers.'" \2] 

3) Also refer to Buraydah's hadith quoted verbatim on page 356 of Vol. 5 of Ahmed's 
Musnad. He says: "The Messenger of Allah sent two armies to Yemen. One of them was 
led by v Ali ibn Abu Talib (as), and the other by Khalid ibn al-Walid. He instructed them 
thus: 'When you combine your forces, let v Ali be the ovrall leader.[3_L But if you disperse, 
then each one of you is the leader over his own troops.' We then battled Banu Zubayda, 



Sayyid 'Abd al-Husayn Sharaf al-Din al-Musawi 



Al-Muraja'at 138 
Shi'i-Sunni dialogue 



and v Ali selected one of the captives, a slave-girl, for himself; so, Khalid and I wrote to 
the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his progeny, to inform him of the 
incident. When I came to the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his progeny, 
and the letter was read for him, I noticed anger in his eyes; therefore, I pleaded to him by 
saying: "This is the place for those who seek refuge; you have sent me with a commander 
and ordered me to obey him, and I have done just that.' The Messenger of Allah, peace be 
upon him and his progeny, said: 'Do not ever plot against v Ali, for he is of me and I am 
of him, and he is your wali after me. '"[41 

Al-Nisa'i has quoted the following words of the Prophet (pbuh) verbatim on page 17 of 
his Al-Khasa'is al-^Alawiyyah: "O Buraydah! Do not try to make me dislike 'AH, for v Ali 
is of me, and I am of him, and he is your wali after me." Jarir, too, quotes Buraydah's 
statement verbatim thus: "The Prophet's face became red with anger, and he said: 'To 
whomsoever I have been mawla, "Ali is his mawla;' therefore, I forgot my own anger 
against v Ali and said that I would never speak ill of v Ali again. "[51 Al-Tabrani, too, has 
quoted this hadith in detail. Among what he narrates is that when Buraydah came from 
Yemen and entered the mosque, he found a crowd standing by the room of the Prophet 
(pbuh). Upon seeing him, they stood up to greet him and ask him what news he had 
brought them. He said: "Good news. Allah has rendered victory upon the Muslims." They 
asked him: "Then what brought you here?" He answered: "An incident regarding a slave- 
girl whom 'AH chose as his share of the khums, and I have come here to inform the 
Prophet about it." They said: "Inform him of it, do inform him, so that he may change his 
heart about v Ali," while the Prophet, peace be upon him and his progeny, was standing 
overhearing their conversation from within. He, thereupon, came out angrily and said: 
"What is the matter with those who bear grudge against 'AH? Whoever hates 'AH hates 
me, too, and whoever abandons 'AH abandons me. 'AH is of me and I am of him; he has 
been created of my own mould, and my own mould is Ibrahim's (Abraham's), and I am 
even superior to Ibrahim, T61 one progeny descending from another, and Allah is all- 
Hearing, all-Knowing. O Buraydah! Have you not come to know that 'Ali's share is a lot 
more than the slave-girl he took, and that he is your wali after me?"JT[ - There is no 
doubt about the authenticity of this hadith, and its narrators are quite numerous, and they 
are all reliable. 

4) Similar to this narration is what al-Hakim has narrated from Ibn 'Abbas who cites a 
particular hadith of weight and significance. In it he counts ten exclusive attributes of 
'AH, and he quotes the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his progeny, 
addressing 'AH thus: "You are the wali of every believer after me. "[81 

5) Likewise, in another hadith, he, peace be upon him and his progeny, has said, "O 'AH! 
I have prayed Allah to grant me five wishes concerning you, and He granted me four and 
denied the fifth." He continues to say: "He has granted me that you are the wali of the 
believers after me. "[91 

6) A similar hadith is transmitted by Ibn al-Sakan from Wahab ibn Hamzah and is quoted 
in Wahab's biography in IstFab thus: "I travelled once with 'AH and found him to be cold 
towards me; therefore, I decided to complain bout him to the Prophet upon returning. So 
I mentioned him to the Messenger of Allah and I spoke ill of him, whereupon he (pbuh) 
said: 'Do not say so about 'AH, for he is your wali after me.'" Al-Tabrani, in his book Al- 
Mujma^ al-Kabir, cites Wahab's statement with a minor alteration in its wording thus: 



Sayyid 'Abd al-Husayn Sharaf al-Din al-Musawi 



Al-Muraja'at 139 
Shi'i-Sunni dialogue 



"Do not say this about "Ali, for he is the most worthy of being your leader after me. "£101 

7) Ibn Abu " Asim has quoted "Ali's hadith from the Prophet through a chain of narrators 
thus: "Do I not have more authority over the believers than they themselves have?" 
People answered in the affirmative. The Prophet (pbuh) then said: "To whomsoever I 
have been wali, "Ali is his wa//;" [ 11] and our sahih books in this regard are mutawatir 
from the Imams of the Purified Progeny (as). 

This much should suffice to prove our point, although ayat al-wilayat alone suffices to 
support our claim, and praise be to Allah, Lord of the Worlds, Wassalamo Alaikom. 

Sincerely, 

5/7 



|T1 This is quoted by Abu Dawud and other authors of books of traditions from Abu 
"Awanah al-Waddah ibn "Abdullah al-Yashkuri through a chain of narrators: Abu Balj 
Yahya ibn Salim al-Fizari, "Arm ibn Maymun al-"Awdi, ending with Ibn "Abbas. The 
men who have quoted this tradition are all authorities in their own right, and they are 
relied upon by both Shaykhs in their respective sahih?, with the exception of Yahya ibn 
Salim whom they do not quote, yet even the pioneers of criticism and verification have 
all declared his trustworthiness, and that he used to mention the name of Allah most 
frequently. Al-Thahbi, while stating his biography in his Al-Mizan, quotes Ibn Ma" in, al- 
Nisa'i, Dar Qutni, Muhammad ibn Sa"id, Abu Hatim, and many others all testifying to the 
fact that the man is a trusted authority. 

[21 This is quoted by many authors of books of traditions such as Imam al-Nisa'i in his 
Al-Khasa'is al-^Alawiyya, Ahmed ibn Hanbal (when quoting "Umran's hadith at the 
beginning of page 438, Vol. 4, of his Musnad), al-Hakim on page 111, Vol. 3, of his Al- 
Mustadrak, al-Thahbi in his Talkhis al-Mustadrak, admitting its authenticity due to its 
endorsement by Muslim. It is quoted by Ibn Abu Shaybah and Ibn Jarir, and the hadith 
both men quote from him has been verified by al-Muttaqi al-Hindi at the beginning of 
page 400, Vol. 6, of Kanz al-^Ummal. It is also quoted by al-Tirmithi from reliable 
sources as mentioned by al-"Asqalani while discussing "Ali's biography in his Al-Isabah. 
The Mu"tazilite scholar has quoted it on page 450, Vol. 2, of Sharh Nahjul Balaghah, 
commenting: "This is narrated by Abu "Abdullah Ahmed [ibn Hanbal] in his Musnad in 
more than one place." He also narrates it in his book Fada'il "A// ["Ali's virtues], and it is 
narrated by most traditionists. 

[31 The Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his progeny, as long as he lived, 
never required anyone to issue orders to "Ali; on the contrary, he vested upon him the 
responsibility of issuing orders to others. He was his standard-bearer in every campaign, 
unlike many others. Abu Bakr and "Umer were both ordinary soldiers in Usamah's 
troops, serving under the standard tied for him by the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) who 
ordered him to take charge of the Mu'ta expedition. He personally enlisted both men, 
according to the consensus of chroniclers, and he also made them soldiers of Ibn al-"As. 
These facts are stated by al-Hakim on page 43, Vol. 3, of his Al-Mustadrak, and they are 
cited by al-Thahbi in his Talkhis al-Mustadrak, admitting the authenticity of the hadith. 

Sayyid 'Abd al-Husayn Sharaf al-Din al-Musawi 



Al-Muraja'at 140 
Shi'i-Sunni dialogue 



As regarding v Ali himself, he was never to receive orders, nor to be the subject of anyone 
other than the Prophet himself since the inception of his mission and till his demise, 
peace be upon him and his progeny. 

[41 This is quoted by Ahmed on page 356 from "Abdullah ibn Buraydah who quotes his 
father. On page 347, Vol. 5, of his Musnad, relying on a chain of narrators including 
Sa v id ibn Jubayr and Ibn 'Abbas, he quotes Buraydah saying: "I participated in 'Ali's 
campaign against Yemen, and I felt that his attitude towards me was cool. When I came 
to the Messenger of Allah and mentioned v Ali, I belittled him. Having done so, I saw the 
face of the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) change colour, and he said to me: v O Buraydah! 
Do I not have more authority over the believers than the believers have over their own 
selves?' I answered: v Yes, indeed, O Messenger of Allah.' He said: v To whomsoever I am 
a mawla, 'Ali is his mawla.'" This is quoted by al-Hakim on page 110, Vol. 3, of his Al- 
Mustadrak, in addition to many traditionists. It is, as you see, quite clear in its gist, for 
when he starts with the question "Do I not have more authority over the believers than 
the believers have over their own selves?" he bears testimony to the meaning of "mawla" 
in this hadith to be "the one who is awla, i.e. most worthy of ruling" them, as is quite 
obvious. Similar to this hadith is what has been quoted by many traditionists such as 
Imam Ahmed at the end of page 483, Vol. 3, of his Musnad, from "Amr ibn Shas al- 
Aslami, one of those who were present at Hudaybiya, who quotes the same adding: "I 
accompanied 'Ali to Yemen, and he was cool to me during the trip, so much so that I 
concealed some feelings against him. When I came back, I complained about him at the 
mosque till the news reached the Messenger of Allah (pbuh). I entered the mosque one 
afternoon, and the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his progeny, was present 
there accompanied by many of his companions. As soon as he saw me, he stared at me 
till I sat down. He said to me: O "Amr! By Allah you have hurt me.' I said: V I seek refuge 
with Allah against hurting you, O Messenger of Allah!' He said: 'Yes; whoever hurts v Ali 
hurts me, too.'" 

[5_L As he is quoted by al-Muttaqi al-Hindi on page 398, Vol. 6, of Kanz al-^Ummal. He is 
also quoted in Muntakhab al-Kanz. 

[6_L When he was told that v Ali was created of his own mould, peace be upon him and his 
progeny, thus by necessity becoming superior to this man, he said: "And I am created of 
Ibrahim's mould," mistakingly thinking that Ibrahim (Abraham) is superior to him, peace 
be upon him and his progeny, which contradicts the truth of the matter. 

[71 Ibn Jarir has quoted this hadith from al-Tabrani who includes it on page 103 of his 
book Al-Sawa"iq al-Muhriqa while discussing the second maqsad of verse 14 of the ones 
which he discusses in Chapter 11 of Al-Sawa^iq al-Muhriqa. But when he comes to the 
statement "Have you not come to know that v Ali's share is more than a slave-girl?" his 
pen halts, and he cannot finish the hadith in its entirety! This is not strange, coming from 
him and his likes; and praise be to Allah for our good health. 

[81 This is quoted by al-Hakim at the beginning of page 134, Vol. 3, of Al-Mustadrak, al- 
Thahbi in his Talkhis al-Mustadrak, admitting its authenticity, al-Nisa'i on page 6 of his 
Al-Khasa'is al-^Alawiyya, and Imam Ahmed on page 331, Vol. 1, of his Musnad. We 
have quoted it verbatim at the beginning of Letter No. 26. 

[9J This hadith is number 6048 among the ones cited in Kanz al-^Ummal, page 396, Vol. 
Sayyid 'Abd al-Husayn Sharaf al-Din al-Musawi 



Al-Muraja'at 141 
Shi'i-Sunni dialogue 



[101 This hadith is numbered 2579 among the ones cited in Kanz al- K Ummal, page 155, 
Vol.6. 

fill This is transmitted by al-Muttaqi al-Hindi from Ibn Abu v Asim on page 397, Vol. 6, 
of Kanz al-"Ummal. 



Letter 37 

"Wali" is a Linguistic Denominator; so, Where is the Text? 



Thul-Hijjah 29, 1329 

The word "wali" is a common denominator between the supporter and the friend, the loved 
one and the brother-in-law, the follower, the ally, and the neighbour. Whoever takes charge 
of a matter is its "wali." The ahadith you have qouted may simply mean: "Ali is your 
supporter, or friend, or loved one, after the Prophet; so, where is the text which you claim? 

Sincerely, 



Letter 38 

Explaining the Implications of "Wali" 
II Proving its Connotation 



Thul-Hijjah 29, 1329 

1) You have indicated, while explicating the meanings of "wali," that whoever takes charge 
of anyone becomes the latter's wali. This, indeed, is the connotation of "wali" in as far as 
those ahadith are concerned. It is the same that comes to mind. Its meaning is similar to 
saying "The minor has had for his wali both his father and his paternal grandfather, then he 
was put in the custody of either of them, then in the custody of the legal administrator." 
This implies that these persons are the ones who are in charge of looking after him and 
administer his affairs on his own behalf. 

2) The proofs testifying to the meaning connoted in the word concealed from the discreet. 
His statement, peace be upon him and his progeny, "And he is your wali after me" clearly 
restricts "wilayat" to him and only him. This mandates that we should underscore the 
meaning which we have just attached to this word, a meaning which does not agree with 
that of any other interpretation. Support, love, friendship, and the like are not confined to 
one single person, and the believers, men and women, are walis of one another. What merit, 
other than what we have just indicated, could the Prophet (pbuh) have emphasized in this 
hadith regarding his brother and wali if we say that the meaning of the word wali is 



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Al-Muraja'at 142 
Shi'i-Sunni dialogue 

something else that differs from what we have indicated above? What a hidden matter has 
the Prophet (pbuh) decided to unveil through the medium of such ahadith had the meaning 
of "wali" been the supporter, the loved one, or the like? The Messenger of Allah, peace be 
upon him and his progeny, is above clarifying what is already clear, or pointing out what is 
already taken for granted. His wisdom is vast, his infallibility is incumbent, his Message is 
conclusive and is more than what some people think. Yet these ahadith are quite clear in 
stating that wilayat is assigned for v Ali after the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him 
and his progeny. This, too, requires applying the same meaning which we have suggested. 
It simply is not conducive to the meanings of supporter, loved one, etc., since there is no 
doubt that v Ali is known to have been supported, loved, and befriended by Muslims due to 
his being raised in the lap of prophethood, to his contributions to the promotion of its 
message, till he, peace be upon him, passed away. Supporting, loving and befriending the 
Muslims, therefore, are not confined to v Ali alone after the Messenger of Allah, peace be 
upon him and his progeny, as is quite obvious. 

Suffices you for a testimony to this meaning what Imam Ahmed has stated on page 347 of 
Vol. 5 of his Musnad through the correct path of narrators who cite Sa'id ibn Jubayr 
quoting Ibn v Abbas citing Buraydah saying: "I participated in 'Ali's invasion of Yemen, and 
I found him to be cool to me; so, when I came to the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon 
him and his progeny, I mentioned "Ali and belittled him; thereupon, I saw the Messenger's 
face changing colour, and he asked me: v O Buraydah! Do I not have more authority over 
the believers than the believers have over their own selves?' I answered: v Yes, indeed, O 
Messenger of Allah'. He (pbuh) then said: v To whomsoever I have been mawla, v Ali, too, is 
his mawla." This hadith is also quoted by al-Hakim on page 110, Vol. 3, of his Mustadrak, 
where he considers it authentic relying on the authority of Muslim. Al-Thahbi has quoted it 
in his Talkhis, taking its authenticity for granted for the same reason thatbe Muslim, too, 
considers it authentic. You yourself know the implication the introductory question "Do I 
not have more authority over the believers than they themselves have?" carries, a meaning 
that supports what we have suggested. Anyone who scrutinizes these ahadith, as well as all 
matters relevant to them, will have no doubt in what we have stated, and praise be to Allah. 

Sincerely, 

Sh 



Letter 39 

Requesting the Wilayat Verse 

Thul-Hijjah 30, 1329 

I testify that you are firm in your beliefs, sincere in your campaign, forceful and unmatched 
in facing your debater, invincible in the field. I am a believer in the ahadith according to the 
way which you have suggested. Had I not been obliged to believe in the sahabah, I would 
have accepted your judgement, but taking the word's meaning in the way those sahabah 
have taken it is a must, following in the footsteps of the good ancestors, may Allah be 
pleased with all of them. 



Sayyid 'Abd al-Husayn Sharaf al-Din al-Musawi 



Al-Muraja'at 143 
Shi'i-Sunni dialogue 

But you have not acquainted us with the terse verse which you claim, at the conclusion of 
Letter No. 36, that supports your view regarding the interpretation of these ahadith. Recite 
it for us so that we may comprehend its meaning by the Will of Allah Almighty, Wassalam. 

Sincerely, 

5 



Letter 40 

I The Verse of Wilayat and its Revelation in 'Ali's Honour, 

II Why it was Revealed, 

III Why Using it as a Testimonial. 

Muharram 2, 1320 

1) Yes, indeed, I would like to recite unto you one of the perfect verses of Allah, the 
Exalted, the Almighty, in His great Book which distinguishes right from wrong. It is one of 
the verses of Surat al Ma'ida (Table of Viands): \ 11 

Only Allah is your wall and His Messenger and those who believe, those who say their 
prayers and offer zakat (even) while prostrating (in prayers). And whoever takes for wall 
Allah, His Messenger, and the believers, they, indeed, are the party of Allah; they are the 
ones who shall achieve victory. 

(Qur'an, 5:55-56) 

Nobody doubts the fact that these verses were revealed in honour of v Ali who offered his 
own ring in the way of Allah while engaged in performing the prayers. 

2) The sahih books consecutively report, through the authority of the Imams from among 
the Purified Progeny, stating that it was revealed in honour of v Ali when he, out of charity, 
offered his ring while prostrating in prayers. Refer to what has been said in this regard by 
others such as Ibn Salam who quotes hadith from the Prophet, peace be upon him and his 
progeny. Refer to it as published in Nisa'i's Sahih, or in Al-Jami Bayna al-Sihah al-Sittah, 
in a chapter dealing with the interpretation of Surat al Ma'ida. Likewise, refer to the hadith 
of Ibn "Abbas who explains the meanings of these verses in imam al-Wahidi's book Asbab 
al-Nuzul. Al-Khatib has included it in Al-Muttafaq.\2\ Also refer to v Ali's hadith in the 
musnads of Ibn Mardawayh and Abul-Shaykh. If you wish, refer to it in Kanz al-^Ummal. 

Its revelation to honour v Ali is a matter of consensus among scholars of the exegesis of the 
Holy Qur'an. Such consensus is attested to by many Sunni scholars like Imam al-Qawshaji 
in his chapter on imamate in Sharh al Tajrid. Chapter 18 of Ghayat al-Maram includes one 
hadith narrated through the Sunnis testifying to our claim. Had I not aspired to be brief, in 

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Al-Muraja'at 144 
Shi'i-Sunni dialogue 

addition to the fact that this issue is as clear as the sun in midday, I would have quoted for 
you many comments thereupon in authentic chronicles, but, praise to Allah, it is a matter 
which does not entertain any doubt. Despite that, we do not like to let this letter be without 
a few ahadith narrated by the majority of Muslims. 

Suffices us what Imam Abu Ishaq Ahmed ibn Ibrahim al-Nisaburi al-ThaTabi[3_l has stated 
in his Al-Tafsir al-Kabir. When the writer comes to this verse, he quotes Abu Tharr al- 
Ghifari saying: 

"I have heard the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his progeny, with these ears - 
may I be deaf if I tell a lie - and saw him with these eyes - may I be blinded if I lie - saying: 
v Ali is the leader of the pious, the annihilator of infidels; whoever supports him is supported 
by Allah, and whoever abandons him is abandoned by Allah.' I have, indeed, said my 
prayers once in the company of the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his 
progeny, when a beggar came to the mosque and nobody gave him anything. 'Ali was in 
the state of ceremonial prostration when he beckoned to him to take his ring. The beggar 
came and took it from 'Ali's finger, whereupon the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him 
and his progeny, invoked Allah, the Almighty, the Omniscient, and prayed Him on behalf 
of 'Ali saying: "Lord! My Brother Moses had prayed to you saying: Lord! Remove the 
distress from my bosom, render my mission easy for me, and untie my tongue's knot so that 
people may understand me, and let me have a vizier from my own kin, my brother Aaron, 
to support my endeavour and participate in my undertaking, so that we may both praise you 
a great deal and mention your Name a great deal; You have been most Kind unto us 
(Qur'an, 20:25-35);-fhereupon, You inspired to him: Verily, your prayer has been granted, 
O Moses! (Qur'an, 20:36). Lord! I am Your servant and Prophet; therefore, remove my 
distress, render my mission easy for me, and grant me a vizier from my kin, v Ali, to support 
my endeavour'. By Allah, the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his progeny, had 
hardly finished his supplication before Gabriel, the trusted one, brought him this verse: 
"Only Allah is your wali and His Messenger and those who believe, those who say their 
prayers and offer zakat (even) while prostrating (in prayers). And whoever takes for wali 
Allah, His Messenger, and the believers, they, indeed, are the party of Allah; they are the 
ones who shall achieve victory (Qur'an, 5:55-56).'" 

3) You, may Allah support righteousness through your own person, know that the meaning 
of the word "wali" in such a context is "one who has the top priority in faring with one's 
affairs." We say "Such and such is the minor's wali." Lexicographers have made it clear that 
whoever takes charge of someone's affairs is the latter's wali. The meaning of the verse, 
therefore, is as though Allah says that "the ones who take charge of your affairs and have 
priority even over your own lives in faring with the latter are: Allah, the Almighty and 
Omniscient, His Messenger, and "Ah," for in v Ali alone have all these qualities been 
combined: faith, saying the prayers, and offering zakat even while prostrating in prayers, 
and for whom these verses were thus revealed. The Almighty has in these verses reserved 
wilayat for Himself and for both His Messenger and wasi in the same manner. The wilayat 
of Allah, the Almighty and Omniscient, is general and inclusive. So is the wilayat of the 
Prophet as well as his wali; it carries the same meaning. It is not possible to apply to it in 
this context the meanings of "supporter, loved one, etc.," since such a restriction [of 
application] is groundless, as is quite obvious. I believe this is a quite clear matter, and 
praise to Allah, Lord of the Worlds. 



Sayyid 'Abd al-Husayn Sharaf al-Din al-Musawi 



Al-Muraja'at 145 
Shi'i-Sunni dialogue 



Sincerely, 
Sh 



m This is why people in Syria call a Shi" ah "mutawali," due to his taking for mawla Allah, 
His Messenger, and those who have truly believed, that is, those in whose honour the same 
verse was revealed. Linguistically, the "mutawali" is singular, and the "mutawla" are the 
Shfahs. They are so-called because they accepted the wilayat of v Ali and Ahl al-Bayt (as). 

[21 It is hadith number 5991 of the ones cited in Kanz al-^Ummal on page 391, Vol. 6. 

£3_1 He died in 337. Ibn Khallikan mentions him in his Wafiyyat al-A^yan saying: "He was 
the unique authority of his time in the science of exegesis; he wrote Al-Tafsir al-Kabir, 
which surpassed all other books of tafsir" and he goes on to say: "He is mentioned by 
v Abdul-Ghafir ibn Isma'il al-Farisi in his book Siyaq Nisabur, where the author lauds him 
and describes him as "accurate in transmitting, trustworthy.'" 



Letter 41 

"Mumins" is Plural; Why Apply it to the Singular? 

Muharram 3, 1330 

It may be said in rebutting your objection that the phrase "the Mu'mins who say their 
prayers and offer zakat (even) while prostrating (in prayers)" is applied to the plural; so, 
why should it be applied to the Imam, may Allah glorify his countenance, who is singular? 
What is your answer if you are asked thus? 

Sincerely, 

5 



Letter 42 

Arabs Address the Singular Using the Plural Form, 
II Testimonials, 

III Quoting Imam al-Tibrisi, 

IV Quoting al-Zamakhshari, 
V What I have Stated. 



Muharram 4, 1330 

1) The answer to your question is that Arabs apply the plural expression while addressing an 

Sayyid 'Abd al-Husayn Sharaf al-Din al-Musawi 



Al-Muraja'at 146 
Shi'i-Sunni dialogue 

individual due to the nice effect it produces [i.e. respect]. 

2) A testimony to this fact is what the Almighty says in Surat Al-i- v Imran: 

Those to whom some people said: "A large army has been raised against you; so, fear 
them," yet it only increased their faith, and they said: "Allah suffices us, and He is the One 
upon Whom we depend most." (Qur'an, 3:173) 

The person implied in these verses of Al-i-"Imran is none other than Na'im ibn Mas'ud al- 
Ashja'i, according to the consensus of scholars of exegesis, traditionists, and chroniclers. 
Yet Allah Almighty has applied to him, the singular person that he is, the plural form just to 
express respect for those who did not listen to his statements nor heeded his dissuading 
calls. Abu Sufyan had given him ten camels in order to demoralize and frighten the Muslims 
regarding the strength of the polytheists, and he did just that. Among his statements then 
was: "People have gathered a mighty force to attack you; so, fear for your own lives." Many 
Muslims disliked the idea of fighting that force just because of his statement, but the 
Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his progeny, came out accompanied by seventy 
cavaliers to meet them, and they all returned from the battle-field safely, whereupon this 
verse was revealed praising the seventy believers who came out with the Messenger of 
Allah, peace be upon him and his progeny, heedless to the dissuasion of those who wished 
to demoralize them. 

In applying the word "people" for just one individual, a nice and divine point is made which 
is complimenting the seventy men who came out with the Prophet. This surely sounds more 
eloquent when used as such; it is better than saying: "Those to whom a man said that a large 
army had been raised..., etc.," as is obvious. There are numerous verses in the Holy Qur'an 
similar to this one, as well as in the Arabic language as a whole. The Almighty Allah says: 
"O you who believe! Remember Allah's blessing unto you when some folks intended to lay 
their (evil) hands upon you, and He protected you against their harm." In fact, the person 
who intended to lay his evil hands upon them and hurt them was a man from the tribe of 
Muharib named Ghawrath - others say it was 'Arm ibn Jahsh of Banu al Nadir - who 
unsheathed his sword and shook it intending to strike the Holy Prophet (pbuh), but Allah, 
the Almighty and the Glorified, foiled his attempt, according to the narration of the incident 
as recorded by traditionists, authors of chronicles, and scholars of exegesis, and as 
transmitted by Ibn Hisham in the campaign of That al Riqa' in Vol. 3 of his book titled 
Sirah. Allah has applied the collective plural "people" for this lone man just to express His 
blessings, the Dear One, the Omnipotent, upon the Muslim masses manifested in the safety 
of the Prophet, peace be upon him and his progeny. In the Mubahala verse, He has applied 
both the singular and the plural forms to the "sons," "women," and "selves" to both the 
Hasanain, Fatima, and 'Ali in particular, just to honour to their lofty status, may Allah be 
pleased with them. Examples for the application of the plural form for the individual 
wherever necessary are innumerable and beyond recounting, and they all prove the license 
to use the plural form while talking about one individual whenever there is a nice eloquent 
effect thereto. 

3) In his interpretation of this verse, in Mujmaul Bayanfi Tafsir al-Qur'an, Imam al-Tibrisi 
comments on the usage of the plural form to refer to the Commander of the Faithful as a 
token of respect and veneration, stating that lexicographers describe the singular using the 
plural form to show respect and veneration. He says: "Sucn an application is too well known 



Sayyid 'Abd al-Husayn Sharaf al-Din al-Musawi 



Al-Muraja'at 147 
Shi'i-Sunni dialogue 



in their language to require proofs." 



4) In his Kashshaf, al-Zamakhshari mentions another nice point when he says: "If you 
wonder how it can be accurate to use the plural with v Ali, may Allah be pleased with him, I 
will tell you that he is addressed in the plural form, although he is only one man, so that 
people may follow his example and earn rewards like his, and so that Allah may point out 
the fact that a believer's attitude should be like v Ali's, that is, being eager to do deeds of 
righteousness and goodwill by looking after the poor, so much so that even the performance 
of something which does not permit any delay, such as saying the prayers, should not make 
them postpone it till they are through." 

5) I personally have a nice and more precise point. When the Almighty applied the plural 
rather than the singular form, as many do, then those who hated 'Ali as well as all those who 
were envious of and in competition with Banu Has him would not be able to tolerate hearing 
it in the singular form, for they would then be unable to hide the truth or water it down. 
Because of their desperation, they might even do something quite harmful to Islam. It is 
quite possible that it was for this reason that the verse was revealed in the plural form 
though applied to the singular: in order to avoid the harm resulting from disgracing those 
folks. The verses after that particular one vary in form and status, gradually preparing them 
for wilayat, till Allah perfected His religion and completed His blessing, as was his usual 
habit, peace be upon him and his progeny, and that of the wise in attaining what otherwise is 
quite difficult to attain. Had the verse come in the singular form, those folks would have 
then put their fingers in their ears, covered themselves with their own clothes and become 
stubborn, arrogant, and naughty. This is a sublime wisdom manifested in all the verses of 
the Holy Qur'an which were revealed to highlight the attributes of the Commander of the 
Faithful and those among his purified household, as is quite obvious. We have explained 
these statements and brought irrefutable proofs and obvious testimonies in our books Sabil 
al-Muminin and Tanzil al-Ayat, and praise be to Allah for His Guidance and Support, 
Wassalam. 

Sincerely, 

Sh 



Letter 43 

Context Denotes "the Loved one," or the Like. 

Muharram 4, 1330 

May Allah bless your father! You have, indeed, dispelled my doubts and thus overcome my 
suspicion, so much so that truth has become manifest. Nothing remains to say other than the 
fact that the context of the said verse denotes the prohibition of taking the infidels for walis. 
The verses which precede and succeed it testify to this fact, and this supports the claim that 
the connotation of the word "wali" in this verse is the supporter, loved one, friend, or the 
like; so, what would your answer be? Kindly state it, Wassalam. 



Sayyid 'Abd al-Husayn Sharaf al-Din al-Musawi 



Al-Muraja'at 148 
Shi'i-Sunni dialogue 



Sincerely, 
5 



Letter 44 

I Context is not Indicative of "Supporter," or the Like, 
II Context does not Outweigh the Proofs. 



Muharram 5, 1330 

1) Here is my answer: This verse, if one were to scrutinize it, overlooking the verses 
which precede it and which prohibit taking the infidels for walis, does not connote 
praising the Commander of the Faithful or recommending him for leadership and imamate 
by threatening dissidents with his might or by warning them against being punished by 
him. This is so because in the preceding verse, if and when scrutinized independently, 
Allah Almighty states: "O ye who believe! If anyone of you relinquishes his religion, then 
Allah will raise a people whom He loves and who love Him, soft-hearted with the 
believers, mighty against the unbelievers, struggling in His Path, not fearing anyone while 
doing so. This, indeed, is Allah's favour; He grants it to whomsoever He pleases, and 
Allah is vast in knowledge (Qur'an, 5:54)."[1] This verse is revealed on behalf of the 
Commander of the Faithful (as), warning others of his might and that of his followers, as 
the Commander of the Faithful has himself stated on the Battle of the Camel and is stated 
by Imams al-Baqir and al-Sadiq. 

The same meaning is applied by al-ThaTabi in his Tafsir al-Qur'an. It is also narrated by 
the author of Muj'maul Bayan fi Tafsir al-Qur'an from "Ammar, Huthayfah, and Ibn 
v Abbas. It is interpreted in this way according to the consensus of Shfas who narrate it 
consecutively from the Imams of the Purified Progeny (as). The verse of the wilayat will 
thus come after hinting to his wilayat and referring to the necessity of accepting his 
imamate. Its context would then be an explanation of that hint, and an elaboration on the 
hint that preceded it which suggests his government; so, how can it be said that this verse 
was revealed in the context of prohibiting taking the infidels for walis! 

2) The Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his progeny, has himself equated the 
status of the Imams among his descendants to that of the Holy Qur'an, indicating that they 
both shall never separate from each other, and that they are equal in significance to the 
Book (Qur'an) itself; through them can right be distinguished from wrong. To them, taking 
this verse as a proof is consecutively reported. The meaning they have always applied to 
the word "wali" in such a context is identical to the one which I have applied above; 
therefore, context does not bear any weight if you take it to contradict their texts, [2] for all 
Muslims are in consensus regarding the application of context as a proper argument. 
When context and proof collide with one another, they abandon the connotation of the 
context and yield to the judgement of the proof. This is so due to the fact that the 
connotation of this verse's context is not relied upon, since the Glorious Book itself is not 
arranged in the order of its compilation, according to the consensus of all Muslim 



Sayyid 'Abd al-Husayn Sharaf al-Din al-Musawi 



Al-Muraja'at 149 
Shi'i-Sunni dialogue 



scholars, but according to the sequence of the revelation of its verses. As such, there are 
quite a few verses which give a meaning that contradicts their context. Take, for example, 
the Verse of Purification. The fact that the chapter where it exists deals with women is 
quite clear in restricting its connotation to the five individuals [men and women] who 
were covered with the mantle. Generally speaking, to interpret a verse in a way which 
contradicts its context does not in any way violate its miraculous aspect, it does not harm 
its eloquence, and it does not hurt to resort to it whenever irrefutable proofs demand it, 
Wassalamo Alaikom. 

Sincerely, 

Sh 



[1] This is similar in meaning to the hadith of the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him 
and his progeny, saying: "You, folks of Quraysh, shall never cease feuding till Allah sends 
you a man the sincerity of whose faith He has tested to strike your necks with his sword, 
while you run away in fear like frightened cattle." Abu Bakr asked: "Is it I, O Messenger 
of Allah?" He answered: "No." ^Umer asked: "Is it I, O Messenger of Allah?" He 
answered: "No; but it is he that mends the sandal." The narrator continues to say: " v Ali 
then had in his hand the Prophet's sandal which he was mending for the Messenger of 
Allah, peace be upon him and his progeny." This hadith has been recorded by many 
authors of books of traditions, and it is hadith number 610 at the beginning of page 393, 
Vol. 6, of Kanz al-^Ummal. Also similar to it is his saying, peace be upon him and his 
progeny, "Among you is a man who shall fight for the implementation of the Qur'an just 
as I have fought for its revelation." Abu Bakr asked: "Am I the one?" He answered: "No." 
v Umer asked likewise, and the Prophet (pbuh) answered: "No, but it is the man who is 
inside mending the sandal," whereupon "AH came out of the room carrying the Prophet's 
sandal after having finished mending it. This hadith is quoted by Imam Ahmed ibn Hanbal 
in his Musnad as transmitted by Abu Sa'id, and it is narrated by al-Hakim in his Al- 
Mustadrak, Abu YaTi in his Musnad, and by many authors of books of traditions. Al- 
Muttaqi al-Hindi quotes it from them on page 155 of the sixth volume of his book. 

[2] What weight can a superficial interpretation have if it contradicts the spirit of the entire 
text? 



Letter 45 

Resorting to Interpretation, Following in the Footsteps of the 
Predecessors, is Unavoidable. 



Muharram 6, 1330 

Had it not been for the caliphate of the Righteous Caliphs, which is correct beyond any 
doubt, we would not have had any choice other than accepting your view and interpreting 
this verse and others according to your own judgement, but to cast doubts about the 
soundness of their caliphate, may Allah be pleased with them, is out of the question. 



Sayyid 'Abd al-Husayn Sharaf al-Din al-Musawi 



Al-Muraja'at 150 
Shi'i-Sunni dialogue 



Resorting to interpretation, then, is unavoidable, since we have believed in them as well as 
in those who swore the oath of allegiance to them, Wassalam. 

Sincerely, 

5 



Letter 46 

Believing in the Ancestors does not Require Interpretation 
II Interpretation is Impossible 



Muharram 6, 1330 

The three righteous caliphs, may Allah be pleased with them, are, indeed, the subject of 
the study and debate; to use such caliphate, however, to rebut our arguments is totally 
rejected. 

1) To believe in those caliphs, as well as in those who swore allegiance to them, does 
not require interpreting the arguments. In justifying their caliphate, you yourselves 
resort to interpretation, as we will clarify if necessary. 

2) Interpreting the texts which we have stated to you is impossible; so is the case with 
what we have not stated yet, such as the Ghadir's hadith and that of the Will, 
particularly when backed by irrefutable traditions which support one another, the latter 
being sufficient by themselves to require reference to manifest texts. Whoever 
acquaints himself with the latter will find them irrefutable testimonials and 
unequivocable verdicts, Wassalam. 

Sincerely, 

Sh 



Letter 47 

Requesting Testimonial Traditions 

Muharram 7, 1320 

I wish you had stated those traditions supporting such texts and thereby complemented 
your research, Wassalam. 

Sincerely, 



Sayyid 'Abd al-Husayn Sharaf al-Din al-Musawi 



Al-Muraja'at 151 
Shi'i-Sunni dialogue 



Letter 48 

Forty Ahadith Supporting the Texts 



Muharram 8, 1330 

Consider forty such supporting ahadith: 

1) Consider the statement of the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his progeny, 
while holding "Ali's neck, "This is the Imam of the righteous, the slayer of the debauchees; 
victorious is whoever supports him, forsaken (by Allah) is whoever abandons him." He 
(pbuh) raised his voice while saying the last phrase. This is included by al-Hakim as narrated 
by Jabir on page 129, Vol. 3, of Al-Mustadrak,\l 1 where the author comments saying: "This 
is one hadith the authenticity of which is attested to by its own chain of narrators, though 
both authors (of sahih books) did not record it." 

2) Consider his statement, peace be upon him and his progeny, "It has been revealed to me 
that 'Ali has three exclusive merits: that he is the chief of the Muslims, the Imam of the 
righteous, and the leader of those whose foreheads radiate with the mark of faith." It is 
included by al-Hakim at the beginning of page 138, Vol. 3, of his Mustadrak[2] where the 
author comments: "This is one hadith the accuracy of which is attested to by its own chain of 
narrators, though both authors (of the sahih books) did not record it." 

3) Consider his statement, peace be upon him and his progeny, "It has been revealed to me 
that 'Ali is the chief of the Muslims, the wali of the pious, and the leader of those whose 
foreheads radiate with the mark of faith." It is recorded by Ibn al-Najjar][3_l and many other 
authors of books of traditions. 

4) Consider his statement, peace be upon him and his progeny, to v Ali: "Welcome, chief of 
the Muslims, Imam of the pious!" It is included by Abu Na'im in Hilyat al-Awliya'.[4^ 

5) Consider his statement, peace be upon him and his progeny, "The first to enter through 
this door is the Imam of the pious, the chief of Muslims, the head of the religion, the seal of 
the wasis, and the leader of those whose foreheads radiate with the mark of faith," 
whereupon 'Ali entered and he, peace be upon him and his progeny, stood up happily 
excited, hugged him and wiped his sweat saying: "You shall fulfill my covenant, convey my 
message, and after me clarify whatever seems to be ambiguous. "£51 

6) Consider his statement, peace be upon him and his progeny, "Allah has promised me that 



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Al-Muraja'at 152 
Shi'i-Sunni dialogue 

'Ali is the standard of guidance, the Imam of whoever accepts my wilayat, the light for 
whoever obeys me, and the word which I have mandanted unto the pious. "[61 As you see, 
these six ahadith contain obvious texts regarding his imamate and the obligation to obey 
him, peace be upon him. 

7) Consider his statement, peace be upon him and his progeny, pointing to "Ali, "This is the 
first to have believed in me, the first to shake hands with me on the Day of Resurrection; he 
is the foremost friend, and he is the faruq of this nation who distinguishes between right and 
wrong; he is the chief of the believers. "[71 

8) Consider his statement, peace be upon him and his progeny, "O you group of the Ansars! 
Shall I lead you to that which, as long as you adhere to it, you shall never go astray? It is 
'Ali; love him as you love me, and respect him as you respect me, for Gabriel has 
commanded me to say so to you on behalf of Allah, the Almighty, the Omniscient. "£81 

9) Consider his statement, peace be upon him and his progeny, "I am the city of knowledge, 
and 'Ali is its gate; whoever aspires to attain knowledge, let him approach through the 
gate. "[91 

10) Consider his statement, peace be upon him and his progeny, "I am the house of wisdom 
and v Ali is its gate. " 1 101 

11) Consider his statement, peace be upon him and his progeny, '"Ali is the gateway of my 
knowledge, the one who is to explain to my nation after me what I have been sent with; 
loving him is a mark of genuine faith, and hating him is hypocrisy. "OJJ 

12) Consider his statement, peace be upon him and his progeny, to v Ali: "You shall clarify to 
my nation all matters wherein they differ." This is recorded by al-Hakim on page 122, Vol. 
3, of his Mustadrak j 12] as reported by Anas. The author then comments: "This is an 
authentic hadith according to the endorsement of both Shaykhs [Bukhari and Muslim], 
although they did not quote it themselves. " In fact, whoever scrutinizes this hadith and 
others similar to it will come to know that ^Ali's status with relevence to the Messenger of 
Allah is similar to that of the Messenger of Allah to the Almighty Himself, for Allah says to 
His Messenger: "We have sent you Our revelations only so that you may clarify for them all 
the matters in which they dispute, and as guidance and mercy unto those who believe;" 
while in this hadith the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) tells "Ali: "You shall clarify to my nation 
all matters wherein they differ after me. " 

13) Consider his statement, peace be upon him and his progeny, as recorded by Ibn al- 
Sammak from Abu Bakr, '"Ali's status to me is similar unto that of mine to my Lord. "£131 

14) Consider his statement, peace be upon him and his progeny, as recorded by al-Dar Qutni 
in Al-Afrad where the author quotes Ibn v Abbas citing the Prophet saying: " v Ali ibn Abu 
Talib is (like) the gate of salvation to the Israelites; whoever enters through it becomes a true 
believer [mu'min], and whoever gets out of it becomes infidel." [ 141 

15) Consider his statement, peace be upon him and his progeny, on the day of v Arafat during 
Hijjatul Wada v [the farewell pilgrimage]: ""Ali is of me, and I am of v Ali, and nobody pays 



Sayyid 'Abd al-Husayn Sharaf al-Din al-Musawi 



Al-Muraja'at 153 
Shi'i-Sunni dialogue 



my debts other than I or s Ali." £15] 



"It is the statement of a glorious Messenger empowered by the One Who manifests the 
Throne, Able, Obeyed: how trustworthy He is! Nay! Your fellow is not possessed at all." 
(Qur'an, 81:19-22) 

"He does not speak out of his own personal inclination; it is but a revealed inspiration." 
(Qur'an, 53:3-4) 

So, whither are you going? And what shall you say about these clear arguments and explicit 
texts? 

If you carefully scrutinize this much, examine the wisdom behind making such an 
announcement during the supreme pilgrimage in front of the witnesses, truth will then 
appear to you most manifestly. And if you examine his words how few, and their meaning 
how encompassing, you will then have a great reverence for him, for he has learned a great 
deal and digested and researched what he has learned. None other than v Ali remains to be 
worthy of discharing any responsiblity. No wonder, then, that he, and only he, executes the 
Prophet's own will, taking his own position of leadership as vicegerent and vizier; praise be 
to Allah Who has guided us to all this, for without Allah's guidance, we would not have been 
thus guided. 

16) Consider his statement, peace be upon him and his progeny, "Whoever obeys me obeys 
Allah, and whoever disobeys me disobeys Him; and whoever obeys v Ali obeys me, too; and 
whoever disobeys 'Ali also disobeys me." This is recorded by al-Hakim on page 121, Vol. 3, 
of his Mustadrak, and by al-Thahbi in his Talkhis. Both authors have relied on the authority 
of both Shaykhs to endorse this hadith. 

17) Consider his statement, peace be upon him and his progeny, "O "Ali! Whoever abandons 
me abandons Allah; and whoever abandons you abandons me, too." This is recorded by al- 
Hakim on page 124, Vol. 3, of his Sahih, where he comments saying: "This hadith is 
authentic through isnad, though the Shaykhs did not record it." 

18) Consider his statement, peace be upon him and his progeny, as quoted by Umm 
Salamah, "Whoever denounces 'Ali denounces me, too," which is recorded by al-Hakim at 
the beginning of page 121, Vol. 3, of Al-Mustadrak as ascertained by both Shaykhs, and it is 
narrated by al-Thahbi in his Talkhis where the author testifies to its authenticity. It is 
recorded by Ahmed among the ahadith narrated by Umm Salamah on page 323, Vol. 6, of 
his Musnad, and by al-Nisa'i on page 17 of Al-Khasa'is al-Alawiyya, in addition to many 
other traditionists. So is the statement of the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his 
progeny, as included among the ahadith narrated by "Amr ibn Shash thus: "Whoever harms 
'Ali harms me, too." |T61 

19) Consider his statement, peace be upon him and his progeny, "Whoever loves 'Ali loves 
me, too; and whoever despises v Ali despises me, too." This hadith is recorded by al-Hakim 
who describes it as authentic on page 130, Vol. 3, of Al-Mustadrak, and it is narrated by al- 
Thahbi in his Talkhis where he admits reference to its authenticity for the same reason. Such 
is the case of v Ali's statement ^ 171 "I swear by the One Who has cleft the seed [so that a 
plant may grow therefrom] and created the breeze from nothing, the Ummi Prophet (pbuh) 



Sayyid 'Abd al-Husayn Sharaf al-Din al-Musawi 



Al-Muraja'at 154 
Shi'i-Sunni dialogue 

has promised me that nobody loves me except a true believer (mu'min), and nobody hates 
me except a hypocrite." 

20) Consider his statement, peace be upon him and his progeny, "O 'Ali! You are a leader in 
this life and the life hereafter; whoever loves you loves me, too, and whoever loves me is 
loved by Allah; your foe is my foe, and my foe is Allah's foe; woe unto whoever despises 
you after me." This is recorded by al-Hakim at the beginning of page 128, Vol. 3, of Al- 
Mustadrak, and its authenticity is ascertained by both Shaykhs.[20_l 

21) Consider his statement, peace be upon him and his progeny, "O 'Ali! Glad tidings to 
whoever loves and believes in you, and woe unto whoever hates you and tells lies about 
you." This is recorded by al-Hakim on page 135, Vol. 3, of his Al-Mustadrak, where he 
comments saying: "This hadith is authentic by way of its being consecutively reported 
(through isnad, consecutive reporting). Neither shaykh records it." 

22) Consider his statement, peace be upon him and his progeny, "Whoever wishes to live the 
way that I have lived and die the way that I shall die and reside in the Eternal Garden, which 
is promised to me by my Lord, let him accept 'Ali as his/her wali, for surely he never gets 
you out of guidance, nor will he ever hurl you into misguidance." 

23) Consider his statement, peace be upon him and his progeny, "I enjoin whoever believes 
and trusts in me to be mindful of the wilayat of 'Ali ibn Abu Talib, for whoever accepts him 
as the wali accepts me as such, and whoever accepts me as the wali has indeed accepted 
Allah as such; and whoever loves him loves me, and whoever loves me loves Allah; and 
whoever hates him hates me, too, and whoever hates me hates Allah, the Almighty, the 
Omniscient." 

24) Consider his statement, peace be upon him and his progeny, "Whoever is pleased to live 
my life and die my death, and then reside in the Garden of Eden, planted for me by my Lord, 
then let him take 'Ali as the wali after me, and let him accept the authority of whoever 'Ali 
places in charge, and let him follow the examples of my progeny after me, for they are my 
offspring: they are created out of my own mould and blessed with my understanding and 
knowledge; therefore, woe unto those who deny their favours from among my nation, who 
cut their ties with them; may Allah never grant them my intercession." 

25) Consider his statement, peace be upon him and his progeny, "Whoever loves to live my 
life and die my death and enter the Garden my Lord has promised me, the Garden of 
Eternity, then let him take 'Ali and his descendants after him as his walls, for they shall 
never take you out of guidance, nor shall they ever drag you into misguidance. ' T2 11 

26) At the beginning of page 156, Vol. 6, of Kanz al-^Ummal, al-Daylami quotes Ammar 
citing the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) telling 'Ammar the following: "O 'Ammar! If you see 
v Ali walking on one path while other people walk on another, walk with 'Ali and leave the 
people, for he shall never lead you to destruction, nor shall he ever take you out of right 
guidance." 

27) Consider his statement, peace be upon him and his progeny, according to one hadith 
narrated by Abu Bakr, "My hand and 'Ali's are equal when it comes to justice." This is 



Sayyid 'Abd al-Husayn Sharaf al-Din al-Musawi 



Al-Muraja'at 155 
Shi'i-Sunni dialogue 



hadith 2539 recorded on page 153, Vol. 6, of Kanz al-^Ummal. 



28) Consider his statement, peace be upon him and his progeny, "O Fatima! Are you not 
pleased that Allah, the Unique, the Sublime, has looked unto the inhabitants of the earth and 
chose from among them two men: one of them is your father and the other is your 
husband? "[221 

29) Consider his statement, peace be upon him and his progeny, "I am the Warner, and v Ali 
is the Guide; through you, O v Ali, shall guidance be attained after me." This is recorded by 
al-Daylami who quotes Ibn "Abbas, and it is hadith 2631 on page 157, Vol. 6, of Kanz al- 
"Ummal. 

30) Consider his statement, peace be upon him and his progeny, "O v Ali! Nobody is 
permitted to remain in the state of janaba other than I and you. "[231 Likewise is the hadith 
recorded by al-Tabrani as quoted by Ibn Hajar in his Al-Sawa^iq al-Muhriqa as narrated by 
Umm Salamah, al-Bazzar, and Sa'd; so, refer to hadith 13 of Al-Arbain al-Nawawiyya 
which he quotes in Chapter 9. The latter quotes the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him 
and his progeny, saying: "Nobody is permitted to be in the state of janaba in this mosque 
except land "Ali." 

31) Consider his statement, peace be upon him and his progeny, "I and this (meaning v Ali) 
are the Proofs unto my nation on the Day of Judgement." This is recorded by al-Khatib as 
narrated by Anas. How could the father of al-Hassan (as) be Proof just like the Prophet 
(pbuh) was, had he not been his vicegerent and successor? 

32) Consider his statement, peace be upon him and his progeny, "It is written on the gate of 
Paradise: 'There is no god but Allah, Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, 'Ali is the 
Brother of the Messenger of Allah.'" [24] 

33) Consider his statement, peace be upon him and his progeny, "It is written on the 
Throne's leg: 'There is no god but Allah, Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, I (God) 
have supported him (Muhammad) through 'Ali, and I have aided him through 'Ali." 

34) Consider his statement, peace be upon him and his progeny, "Whoever wishes to discern 
Noah's determination, Adam's knowledge, Ibrahim's clemency, Moses' discretion, Christ's 
asceticism, then let him look unto v Ali." This is recorded by al-Bayhaqi in his Sahih and by 
Imam Ahmed ibn Hanbal in his Musnad. \25] 

35) Consider his statement, peace be upon him and his progeny, "O v Ali! There is a 
resemblance in you to Jesus (as) who was hated by the Jews to the extent that the latter even 
cast doubts about his mother's honour, and loved by the Christians to the extent that they 
attributed to him a status which is not his." 

36) Consider his statement, peace be upon him and his progeny, "The foremost (among 
believers) are three: Joshua son of Nun [of the tribe of Ephraim - tr.] who was the foremost 
to believe in Moses, the believer implied in Surat Yasin [Chapter 36 of the Holy Qur'an] 
who was the foremost to believe in Jesus, and v Ali ibn Abu Talib who was the foremost in 
believing in Muhammad (pbuh). " [261 



Sayyid 'Abd al-Husayn Sharaf al-Din al-Musawi 



Al-Muraja'at 156 
Shi'i-Sunni dialogue 

37) Consider his statement, peace be upon him and his progeny, "The foremost in testifying 
(to the Prophets' truth) are three: Habib al-Najjar, the believer implied in Surat Yasin, who 
said: 'O my people! Follow the Messengers (of God);' Izekiel [whose name means "Strength 
of God" - tr.], the believer from the family of Pharaoh, who said: 'Do you intend to kill a 
man just for saying that his Lord is Allah?,' and ' Ali ibn Abu Talib, who is superior to all of 
them. "£27] 

38) Consider his statement, peace be upon him and his progeny, to 'Ali: "The nation will 
turn treacherous to you; you shall live adhering to my faith and will be murdered for 
safeguarding it; whoever loves you loves me, too, and whoever hates you hates me, too, and 
this ('AH's beard) will be drenched with blood from this ('Ali's head). "[281 Ali (as) himself 
has said: "One of the Prophet's predictions is that the nation will be treacherous to me after 
his demise." Ibn Abbas has quoted the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his 
progeny, telling 'AH, "You will certainly encounter a great deal of hardship after me;' T291 
'Ali inquired: "Shall I be able to keep my faith intact?" and the Messenger of Allah, peace 
be upon him and his progeny, answered him in the affirmative. 

39) Consider his statement, peace be upon him and his progeny, "Among you is one who 
will fight for its (Qur'an's) interpretation just as I fought for its revelation." The audience 
was very excited. Among them were Abu Bakr and 'Umer. Abu Bakr asked: "Am I the 
one?" and the Prophet's answer was negative. 'Umer inquired: "Is it I?" and the Prophet 
(pbuh) answered: "No; but it is the one who is mending the shoes," meaning thereby 'Ali; 
therefore, we visited 'Ali to convey the good news to him, but he did not even raise his head, 
as if he had already heard it from the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his 
progeny. "[301 Similar narrative is the hadith narrated by Abu Ayyub al-Ansari during 
'Umer's caliphate. According to al-Hakim, who relies on two references which he indicates 
on page 139 and the page that follows it, Vol. 3, of his Mustadrak, 'Umer has said that the 
Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his progeny, ordered those who reneged from 
their faith, and who dissented, to be fought. Ibn 'Asakir, as indicated in hadith 2588 on page 
155, Vol. 6 of Kanz al-^Ummal, states that 'Ammar ibn Yasir has said that the Messenger of 
Allah, peace be upon him and his progeny, has said, "O 'Ali! The oppressive gang will fight 
you; but you are on the right track; whoever refrains from supporting you is not of me." Abu 
Tharr al-Ghifari, as al-Daylami is quoted at the close of page 155, Vol. 6, of Kanz al- 
^Ummal, has quoted the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his progeny, saying: "I 
swear by the One in whose hands my life is placed that among you is a man who shall fight 
after me for the interpretation of the Qur'an just as I fought the polytheists for its revelation." 
Muhammad ibn 'Ubaydullah ibn Abu Rafi', as indicated by al-Tabrani in his Mujma al- 
Kabir and indicated on page 155, Vol. 6, of Kanz al- K Ummal, has quoted his father and 
grandfather Abu Rafi' saying that the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his 
progeny, has addressed him thus: "O Abu Rafi'! A group of people shall fight 'Ali after me; 
Allah has made mandated that they should be fought. Whoever is unable to fight them with 
his hands, let him fight them with his tongue; if he still is unable to do so, then by his heart." 
Al-Akhdar al-Ansari[311 has quoted the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his 
progeny, saying: "I fight for the revelation of the Qur'an, while 'Ali fights for its 
interpretation." 

40) He, peace be upon him and his progeny, has said: "O 'Ali! I am superior to you due to 
my being a Prophet, while you are superior to all other people due to seven merits: You are 
the foremost among them to believe in Allah, the most just in fulfilling Allah's Promise, the 
most obedient to the Commandments of Allah, the most equitable, the most fair in dealing 



Sayyid 'Abd al-Husayn Sharaf al-Din al-Musawi 



Al-Muraja'at 157 
Shi'i-Sunni dialogue 

with the public, the most far-sighted in all issues, and the one who enjoys the highest status 
in the sight of Allah." Abu Sa'id al-Khudri quotes the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon 
him and his progeny, saying: "O "Ali! You possess seven qualities about which nobody can 
dispute with you: You are the first to truly believe in Allah, the most just in fulfilling Allah's 
Promise, the most obedient to Allah's Commandments, the most compassionate to the 
public, the most informed of all issues, and the highest among them in status. "[321 

There is no room here to quote all such traditions which, as a whole, support one another 
and are all indicative of one meaning, and that is: v Ali is second only to the Messenger of 
Allah, peace be upon him and his progeny, in faring with this nation, and that he is next only 
to the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his progeny, in leading it. These 
traditions convey such a meaning, even if their texts are not consecutively reported, and this 
much should suffice as an irrefutable proof, Wassalam. 

Sincerely, 

Sh 



|T1 This is hadith number 2527 of the ones cited in Kanz al-^Ummal, page 153, Vol. 6, and it 
is quoted by al-ThaTabi from Abu Tharr when the author attempts to interpret the verse of 
wilayat in his book Al-Tafsir al-Kabir. 

£2J It is also quoted by al-Barudi, Ibn Qani\ Abu Na'im, and al-Bazzar. It is hadith 2628 of 
the ones cited in Kanz al-^Ummal, page 157, Vol. 6. 

£3_1 It is hadith 2630 of the ones cited in Kanz al-^Ummal, page 157, Vol. 6. 

£41 It is news item number 1 1 of the ones Ibn Abul Hadid states on page 450, Vol. 2, of 
Shark Nahjul Balaghah, and it is hadith number 2627 of the ones cited in Kanz al-"Ummal, 
page 157, Vol. 6. 

£51 This is quoted by Abu Na'im in his Hilyat al-Awliya' from Anas and transmitted in detail 
by Ibn Abul Hadid on page 450, Vol. 2, of his Shark Nahjul Balaghah; so, refer to news 
item 9 on that page. 

£61 This is quoted by Abu Na'im in his Hilyat al-Awliya' from one hadith narrated by Abu 
Barzah al-Aslami and Anas ibn Malik, and it is transmitted by the Mu'tazilite scholar on 
page 449, Vol. 2, of his Sharh Nahjul Balaghah; so, refer to the third news item on that 
page. 

£71 This is quoted by al-Tabrani in his Kabir from the ahadith narrated by Salman and Abu 
Tharr. It is quoted by al-Bayhaqi in his Sunan, and by Ibn v Uday in his Al-Kamil; it also is 
hadith number 2608 of the ones included in Kanz al-^Ummal, Vol. 6, page 156. 

£8J This is quoted by al-Tabrani in his Kabir, and it is hadith number 2625 of the ones 
included in Kanz al-^Ummal, Vol. 6, page 157, and the tenth on page 450, Vol. 2, of Sharh 
Nahjul Balaghah by Ibn Abul Hadid; so, look and see how he has made their right guidance 



Sayyid 'Abd al-Husayn Sharaf al-Din al-Musawi 



Al-Muraja'at 158 
Shi'i-Sunni dialogue 

conditional upon upholding 'Ali; thus, those who do not do so would certainly stray. See 
how he has commanded them to love him just as they love the Prophet (pbuh), and to respect 
him in the same way they respect the Prophet (pbuh). This is so only because of his being 
his successor, the one to take charge after him. If you consider the verse "Gabriel has 
commanded me to tell you so," then truth becomes manifest to you. 

[91 This is quoted by al-Tabrani in his Kabir from Ibn "Abbas as stated on page 107 of Al- 
Jami" al-Saghir by Sayyuti. It is also quoted by al-Hakim in Manaqib Vliz, page 226, Vol. 3 
of his authentic Mustadrak from two sources: one of them is Ibn v Abbas from yet two 
authentic sources, and the other from Jabir ibn v Abdullah al-Ansari. He has brought forth 
irrefutable proofs for its authenticity. Imam Ahmed ibn Hanbal ibn al-Siddiq al-Magharibi, 
of Cairo, has dedicated an entire book only to prove the authenticity of this hadith, and he 
has crammed it with information and titled it Fath al-Malak al-^Ali Bisihhati Hadith Babul 
^Ilm ^Ali, printed in Egypt at the Islamic Press. It is worthy of the attention of researchers, 
for it contains invaluable information. Views of the Nasibis and their likes are worthless vis- 
a-vis this hadith that is as commonly used as a popular proverb by both the elite and the 
common residents of the urban districts and the countryside. We have even considered their 
criticism, and we have found it to be sheer submission to sentiment, lacking in proof, full of 
extreme fanaticism, as declared by al-Hafiz Salahud-Din al- v Ala'i when he quoted the false 
allegation of al-Thahbi and others who charge that it is incorrect. He comments saying: 
"These have not produced any proof for their claim except its being a fabrication so that it 
may not indict them." 

riOl This is quoted by al-Tirmithi in his Sahih, in addition to Ibn Jarir, and from them it is 
quoted by several authorities such as al-Muttaqi al-Hindi on page 401, Vol. 6, of his Kanz 
al-^Ummal, where he quotes Ibn Jarir saying: "This is a tradition of whose authenticity we 
are quite sure." It is also quoted from al-Tirmithi by Jalalud-Din al-Sayyuti while discussing 
the "hamza" in language in his Jami" al-JawamP and Al-JamV al-Saghir, so, refer to page 
170, Vol. 1, of Al-Jami" al-Saghir. 

ITU This is quoted by al-Daylami from Abu Tharr's hadith as stated on page 156, Vol. 6, of 
Kanz al-^Ummal 

[121 Ibid. 

r 1 31 This is quoted by Ibn Hajar in the fifth maqsad of the maqasid of chapter 14 of the ones 
discussed in Chapter 1 1 of his Al-Sawa^iq al-Muhriqa; so, refer to page 106 of the same. 

f 141 This hadith is number 2528 among the ones cited in Kanz al- K Ummal, page 153, Vol. 6. 

r 1 51 This is quoted by Ibn Majah in his chapter on the virtues of the Prophet's companions 
on page 92, Vol. 1, of his Sunan, by al-Tirmithi and al-Nisa'i in their respective sahihs, and 
it is hadith number 2531 among the ones cited in Kanz al-^Ummal, page 153, Vol. 6. It is 
also quoted by Imam Ahmed on page 164, Vol. 4, of his Musnad from hadith narrated from 
various authentic sources by Janadah. Suffices you the fact that it is quoted from a chain of 
narrators which includes: Yahya ibn Adam, Isra'il ibn Younus and his grandfather Abu Ishaq 
al-Subay v i who quotes Habashi. All of these men are authorities relied upon by both 
Shaykhs in their respective sahih?,. Whoever studies this hadith in Ahmed's Musnad will 
come to know that it was said during the Farewell Pilgrimage which shortly preceded the 



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Shi'i-Sunni dialogue 

departure of the Prophet, peace be upon him and his progeny, from this vanishing world. 
Prior to that, he, peace be upon him and his progeny, had sent Abu Bakr to recite ten verses 
of Surat Bara'a to the residents of Mecca, then he, according to Imam Ahmed on page 151, 
Vol. 1, of his Musnad, said to him: "Go see Abu Bakr before he discharges his mission, and 
as soon as you meet him, take the message from him, then carry it yourself to the people of 
Mecca and read it to them." "Ali met Abu Bakr at the Juhfa and took the tablets from him. 
Abu Bakr went back to the Prophet, peace be upon him and his progeny, and asked him: "O 
Messenger of Allah! Have you received any message from Allah against me?" He answered: 
"No, but Gabriel has come to me and told me that nobody conveys Allah's Message except I 
or a man of my own family." Another narration, recorded by Ahmed on page 510, Vol. 1, of 
his Musnad from "Ali (as), says that when the Prophet dispatched him with Surat Bara'a, he 
said to him: "Either I should carry it, or you." "Ali said: "If it cannot be avoided at all, then I 
will go." He (pbuh) said: "Then proceed, for Allah will make your tongue firm, and He will 
guide your heart." 

ri61 You have come to know by now the hadith narrated by "Amr ibn Shash with our 
commentary in Letter 36. 

|T71 As quoted by Muslim in his chapter on iman, page 46, Vol. 1, of his Sahih. Ibn "Abd al- 
Birr explains its gist while narrating "AH's biography in the IstVab from a group of 
companions. Buraydah's hadith has been quoted in Letter No. 36 above. His hadith, peace be 
upon him and his progeny, "O Allah! Befriend whoever befriends "Ali, and be the enemy of 
whoever sets himself as the enemy of "Ali" is consecutively reported (mutawatir), as 
admitted by the author of Al-Fatawa al-Hamidiyya in his treatise titled "Al-Salat al-Fakhira 
fil Ahadith al-Mutawatira]." 

r 1 81 Narrated, through al-Azhar, by "Abdul-Razzaq, Mu'ammar, al-Zuhri, "Ubaydullah, and 
Ibn "Abbas, each from the other, and all are reliable authorities. For this reason, al-Hakim, 
having labelled the hadith as "sahih" because of its endorsement by both Shaykhs, says: 
"Abul-Azhar, according to their consensus view, is trustworthy, and if authorities 
unanimously agree on the authenticity of one hadith, then it has to be held authentic," then 
he continues to say: "I have heard Abu "Abdullah al-Qarashi saying that he heard Ahmed ibn 
Yahya al-Halwani saying: "When Abul-Azhar came from San" a and started narrating this 
hadith to the people in Baghdad, Yahya ibn Ma" in rejected it. When he opened his place to 
the public, as usual, he inquired about the Nisaburi writer who quotes "Abdul-Razzaq stating 
such ahadith, Abul-Azhar stood up and said that it was he. Yahya ibn Ma" in laughed at his 
statement, stood up, and brought him to sit closer to him and inquired of him about how I 
personally came to be the only one who heard such hadith from "Abdul-Razzaq. I told him 
that I had just come from San" a, and when I bade him farewell, he told me that he owed me 
a unique hadith which nobody else had ever heard, and by Allah it was this hadith verbatim. 
Yahya ibn Ma" in then believed him and apologized to him.'" 

r 1 91 We have quoted this hadith in Letter No. 10 above. 

r201 We have quoted this hadith, too, in Letter No. 10; so, refer to our commentary about it 
and about the one that precedes it. 

\2U Refer to our comment on this hadith and the one that precedes it in our Letter No. 10. 



Sayyid 'Abd al-Husayn Sharaf al-Din al-Musawi 



Al-Muraja'at 160 
Shi'i-Sunni dialogue 

[221 This is quoted by al-Hakim on page 129, Vol. 3, of his authentic Al-Mustadrak, and it is 
narrated by quite a few authors of books and traditions, all testifying to its authenticity. 

r231 Refer to our comment on this hadith in Letter No. 34, and also scrutinize the books of 
traditions to which we have referred. 

[241 This is quoted by al-Tabrani in his Awsat, and by al-Khatib in his Al-Muttafaq wal- 
Muftaraq, as stated at the beginning of page 159, Vol. 6, of Kanz al-^Ummal. We have 
quoted it in Letter No. 34 and commented on it in a way which hopefully benefits the 
researcher. 

[251 This is transmitted from both of them by Abul-Hadid in the fourth news item of his 
news to which he has referred on page 449, Vol. 2, of Sharh Nahjul Balaghah. It is also 
quoted by Imam al-Razi while discussing the meaning of the verse of Mubahala in his Al- 
Tafsir al-Kabir, p. 288, Vol. 2, taking for granted the authenticity of this hadith according to 
the views of those who act upon it as well as those who do not. This hadith is also quoted by 
Ibn Battah from Ibn v Abbas's hadith, as stated on page 34 of Fath al-Malik al-^Ali Bisihhati 
Babil ^Ilm ^Ali by Imam Ahmed ibn al-Sadiq al-Hasani al-Magharibi of Cairo. Among those 
who have admitted that v Ali is the one who is acquainted with the secrets of all prophets 
combined is the Shaykh of all men of knowledge, namely Muhiyud-Din ibn al- v Arabi, as 
quoted by the learned al-Sha"rani in Section 32 of his book Al-Yawaqit wal-Jawahir, page 
172. 

[261 This is quoted by al-Tabrani and Ibn Mardawayh who rely on the authority of Ibn 
'Abbas. It is also quoted by al-Daylami from 'Ayesha, and it is one of the lengthy traditions. 

r271 This is quoted by Abu Na'im and Ibn 'Asakir from Abu Layla, and quoted also by al- 
Najjar from Ibn v Abbas; so, refer to ahadith 30 and 31 of the forty ahadith cited by Ibn Hajar 
in Part Two, Section 9, of his Al-Sawa^iq al-Muhriqa, at the conclusion of page 74 and the 
page following it. 

f281 This is quoted by al-Hakim on page 122, Vol. 3, of his Al-Mustadrak where the author 
admits its authenticity. Al-Thahbi quotes it in his own Talkhis, admitting its authenticity. 

[291 This hadith and the one succeeding it, i.e. Ibn v Abbas's hadith, are quoted by al-Hakim 
on page 140, Vol. 3, of his Mustadrak, and al-Thahbi quotes him in his Talkhis al- 
Mustadrak. Both authors admit the authenticity of this hadith due to its endorsement by both 
Shaykhs. 

[301 This is quoted by al-Hakim on page 122, Vol. 3, of Al-Mustadrak, saying that it is an 
authentic hadith according to its endorsement by both Shaykhs who have not included it in 
their books. Al-Thahbi has admitted its authenticity for the same reason when he quoted it in 
his Talkhis al-Mustadrak. Imam Ahmed has produced it from Abu Sa'id on pages 82 and 33, 
Vol. 3, of his Musnad, and al-Bayhaqi has quoted it in Shu ah al-Iman. Imam Ahmed has 
included Abu Sard's hadith on pages 82 and 33, Vol. 3, of his Musnad, and al-Bayhaqi 
quotes it in his Shu"ab al-Iman, Sa'id ibn Mansur in his Sunan, Abu Na'im in his Hilyat al- 
Awliya', and Abu YaTi in his Sunan numbering it 2585, page 155, Vol. 6, of Kanz al- 
^Ummal. 



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Al-Muraja'at 161 
Shi'i-Sunni dialogue 

r3 1 1 His name is Ibn Abul-Akhdar. Ibn al-Sakan mentions him and quotes this hadith in his 
regard from al-Harith ibn Hasirah from Jabir al-JuTi from Imam al-Baqir from his father 
Zaynul-'Abidin, peace be upon them, from al-Akhdar from the Prophet (pbuh). Ibn al-Sakan 
says: "He is not quite famous among the Prophet's companions, and his traditions ought to 
be verified." This is quoted by al-Asqalani in his biography of al-Akhdar in Al-Isabah. Al- 
Dar Qutni has produced this hadith in his Ifrad, saying: "This hadith is narrated only by Jabir 
al-JuTi, who is a Rafizi." 

[321 Abu Na v im has quoted it among the traditions reported by Ma v ath, as well as the hadith 
succeeding it, that is, that of Abu Sa v id, in his Hilyat al-Awliya', and they are on page 156, 
Vol. 6, of Kanz al-^Ummal. 



Letter 49 

I Admitting 'Ali's Merits, 
II Such Merits do not Necessitate his Caliphate. 



Muharram 11, 1330 

1) Imam Abu "Abdullah Ahmed ibn Hanbal has said: "Nobody among the companions of the 
Messenger of Allah (pbuh) has possessed as many virtues as "Ali ibn Abu Talib has."£JJ Ibn 
"Abbas has said, "No verses of the Book of Allah have descended in honour of any man 
[besides the Prophet] as much as they have in honour of v Ali."[2J On another occasion, he has 
said, "As many as three hundred verses of the Glorious Book of Allah, the Sublime, have been 
revealed in praise of "Ali;" and yet in another instance he has said,[31 "Whenever Allah reveals 
v O ye who believe...,' v Ali is implied as their prince and dignitary; and Allah even rebuked the 
followers of the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his progeny, on several occasions, 
in His precious Book while always speaking well of 'Ali." "Abdullah ibn Ayyash ibn Abu 
Rabi'ah has said, " v Ali possessed a very sharp edge in knowledge; he has the seniority in 
embracing Islam; he is the son-in-law of the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his 
progeny, and he is the faqih of his Sunnah, the hope for victory during wartime, and the most 
generous in giving. "[41 Imam Ahmed ibn Hanbal was asked once about 'Ali and Mu'awiyah; 
he said:[5_[ ""Ali used to have quite a few enemies. His enemies looked for something whereby 
they could find fault with him. Having found none, they came to a man [Mu'awiyah] who had 
fought and killed him, and they praised that man only out of their spite of "Ali." Ismail the 
judge, al-Nisa'i, Abu 'Ali al-Nisaburi and many others have said that nobody, among all the 
companions of the Prophet (pbuh), was praised as much as "Ali was. 

2) There is no argument about your point, yet an argument is raised if you claim that the 
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Shi'i-Sunni dialogue 

Prophet (pbuh), during his lifetime, had promised him the caliphate. All these texts are not 
bound proofs to support such a claim; they simply enumerate the imam's attributes and virtues, 
and the number of such texts is indeed high. We believe that he, may Allah glorify his 
countenance, was worthy of all of them and of even more, and I am sure you have come across 
several times as many such texts suggesting his nomination for the caliphate. Yet a nomination 
is not akin to a binding pledge for caliphate, as you know, Wassalam. 

Sincerely, 

5 



f 1 1 Al-Hakim has quoted it on page 107 of his Sahih from Al-Mustadrak. Al-Thahbi did not 
comment on it in his book Talkhis al-Mustadrak. 

[21 Ibn v Asakir, as well as many other authors of books of traditions, have all quoted it. 

[31 From one hadith quoted by al-Tabrani, Ibn Abu Hatim, and many other authors of books of 
tradition. It is transmitted by Ibn Hajar who also quotes the three ahadith that precede it in 
Section 3, Chapter 9, page 76, of his Al-Sawalq al-Muhriqa. 

[41 This is quoted from Ibn "Ayyash by chroniclers and authors of sunan, and it exists where 
Al-Sawalq al-Muhriqa has already referred. 

[51 As quoted by al-Salafi in his Tayyuriyyat, and it is transmitted by Ibn Hajar where we have 
indicated a short while ago while referring to Al-Sawa^iq al-Muhriqa. 

[6_1 This is well-known about them. Ibn Hajar has copied it at the beginning of Section 2, 
Chapter 9, page 72, of his Al-Sawa^iq al-Muhriqa. 



Letter 50 

Why Interpret Texts on His Behalf as Indicative of His Imamate 

Muharram 13, 1330 

Anyone like you, who is deep in thinking, gifted with a far insight, an authority on linguistic 
sources and derivatives, aware of its meanings and connotations, deriving guidance from the 
Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his progeny, believing in his wisdom and 
conclusive prophethood, appreciative of his deeds and statements ("He does not speak of his 
own inclinations (Qur'an, 53:3)," certainly cannot miss the gist of such texts, nor do their 
conclusions, which are derived from logic and common sense, remain secret to him. It is not 
possible that you, the recognized authority on Arabic (i.e. athbat [7]) that you are, fail to 
perceive that these texts have all granted v Ali a very sublime status, one which Allah Almighty 

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and His Prophets do not grant except to the successors of such Prophets, to the ones they trust 
most to take charge of their religion, to the custodians of such religion. If they do not explicitly 
indicate the caliphate for v Ali, they undoubtedly hint to it, leading to such conclusion by 
necessity. Such an obligation is quite obvious from their precise meaning. The Master of 
Prophets (pbuh) is above granting such a lofty status to anyone other than his successor, his 
vicegerent. Yet whoever deeply scrutinizes the texts concerning 'Ali (as) and very carefully 
and fairly digests their implications will find their vast majority aiming at endorsing his 
imamate, indicative of it either through explicit announcements, such as the previously quoted 
ones, and such as the Covenant of al-Ghadir, or by virtue of necessity, such as the ones stated 
in Letter No. 48. Take, for example, his statement, peace be upon him and his progeny, " v Ali is 
with the Qur'an and the Qur'an is with v Ali; they both shall never separate from each other till 
they meet me by the Pool [of Kawthar],"[81 and his statement, peace be upon him and his 
progeny, " v Ali to me is like the head to the body, "[91 and his statement, peace be upon him and 
his progeny, according to a tradition narrated by "Abdul Rahman ibn "Awf JIOl "I swear by the 
One in Who hold my life, you will have to uphold the prayers, pay the zakat, or else I shall 
send you a man of my own self, or like my own self," then the Prophet (pbuh) took v Ali's hand 
and said: "This is he;" up to the end of countless such texts. This is an obvious benefit to which 
I attract the attention of all seekers of the truth, one which unveils what is ambiguous, delves 
deeply in independent research. He (pbuh) has only followed what he himself comprehends of 
the moral obligations of such sacred texts, without being overtaken by his own personal 
emotions or inclinations, Wassalam. 

Sincerely, 

Sh 



[61 This is well-known about them. Ibn Hajar has copied it at the beginning of Section 2, 
Chapter 9, page 72, of his Al-Sawa^iq al-Muhriqa. 

[71 "Athbat" is the plural of "thabat," and "asnad" is he plural of "sanad," and the latter means 
"hujjah," i.e. proof or authority. 

[81 This is quoted by al-Hakim on page 124, Vol. 3, of his Al-Mustadrak, as well as by al- 
Thahbi in his Talkhis al-Mustadrak. Both authors testify to its authenticity. It is one of the few 
elaborate ahadith. Anyone who is ignorant of the fact that v Ali is with the Qur'an and the 
Qur'an is with v Ali, after having studied the authentic traditions dealing with the Two Weighty 
Things, i.e. the Book and the v Itrat (Progeny), he should be referred to what we have quoted in 
this regard in our Letter No. 8 above, and let him recognize the rights of the Imam of the 
Prophet's Progeny, and their undisputed and undoubted chief. 

[9J This is quoted by al-Khatib in the ahadith narrated by al-Bara', and by al-Daylami in those 
narrated by Ibn v Abbas. It is transmitted by Ibn Hajar on page 75 of his Al-Sawaiq al- 
Muhriqa; so, refer to hadith number 35 of the forty ahadith which he quotes in Section Two, 
Chapter 9, of Al-Sawa^iq al-Muhriqa. 

r 101 It is hadith number 6133, page 405, Vol. 6, in Kanz al-^Ummal. Suffices you for a proof 
that v Ali's soul is akin to that of the Prophet (pbuh) to study the verse of Mubahala according to 
the explanations stated by al-Razi in his tafsir titled Mafatih al-Ghayb, page 488, Vol. 2, and 
refer also to what we have mentioned while dealing with this verse. 



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Shi'i-Sunni dialogue 



Letter 51 

Rebutting the Arguments Through Similar Ones 



Muharram 14, 1330 

Their debaters may refute your claim by citing texts which enumerate the virtues of the three 
righteous caliphs, and by citing other texts praising the posterity from the Muhajirun (Meccan 
Immigrants) and the Ansar (Medenite Supporters); so, what would you say to that? 

Sincerely, 

5 



Letter 52 

Rejecting the Rebuttal's Premises 

Muharram 15, 1330 

We believe in the virtues of all posterity since the time of the Muhajirun and the Ansar, ma] 
Allah be pleased with them and they with Him, and these are beyond count or reckoning 
Certain verses of the Book (Qur'an), in addition to a few Sunni sahih books, must suffice yoi 
for a testimony in this regard. We have scrutinized these, too. We have not found them at all 
and Allah knows best, to be in contradiction to the texts that praise 'Ali (as), or even in an; 
way eligible to disqualify him [from caliphate]. Yes, our opponents may stand alone ii 
narrating the ahadith which are not authentic according to our sources. Their use of sucl 
ahadith to disprove our views is rejected and is not expected from any unbiased arbitrator. W< 
by no means can take them into serious consideration. Do you not see how we do not argue b; 
quoting the texts narrated only by our own sources? On the contrary, we base our argument: 
on their own narrations regarding events such as the Ghadir incident or the like. But we hav< 
scrutinized the texts pertaining to these virtues recorded by their sources, and we could no 
find any clues in them opposing such caliphate, nor do they contain anything suggesting it 
therefore, they have not been relied upon by anyone to prove the legitimacy of the caliphate o 
the three righteous caliphs, Wassalam. 

Sincerely, 

Sh 



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Al-Muraja'at 165 
Shi'i-Sunni dialogue 

Letter 53 
Requesting the Hadith Pertaining to the Ghadir Incident 

Muharram 16, 1330 

You have repeatedly referred to the Ghadir incident. Please narrate its story from 
Sunni sources so that we may look into it, Wassalam. 

Sincerely, 

S 



Letter 54 

Glitters of Ahadith Relevant to the Ghadir Incident 

Muharram 18, 1330 

Relying on the consensus of narrators of hadith, al-Tabrani and many othersJ_JJ have quoted 
Zayd ibn Arqam saying: 

"The Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his progeny, once delivered a sermon at 
Ghadir Khumm under the shade of a few trees saying, "O people! It seems to me that soon I 
will be called upon and will respond to the call.[21 1 have my responsibility[3J and you have 
yours;[41so, what do you say?' They said: "We bear witness that you have conveyed the 
Message, struggled and advised [the nation]; therefore, may Allah reward you with the best 
of His rewards.' He asked them: "Do not you also bear witness that there is no god but Allah 
and that Muhammad is His Servant and Messenger, that His Paradise is just and that His 
Fire is just, that death is just, that the life after death is just, that the Hour will undoubtedly 
approach, and that Allah shall bring the dead to life from their graves?' They said: "Yes, 
indeed, we do bear witness to all of that.' He said: "O Mighty Lord! Bear witness that they 
have.' Then he said: "O people! Allah is my Master, and I am ihemawla (master) of the 
believers. I have more authority over their lives then they themselves have;[51 therefore, to 
whomsoever I have been a mawla, this ("Ali) is his maw/a;£61 O Lord! Befriend whoever 
befriends him, and be an enemy of whoever sets himself as his enemy.' Then he said: "O 
people! I am to precede you, and you shall join me, at the Pool [of Kawthar] which is wider 
than the distance from Basra to San"a; it contains as many silver cups as the stars; and I 
shall ask you when you join me about the Two Weighty Things, how you shall succeed me 
in faring with them; the Greatest Weighty Thing is the Book of Allah, the Omniscient, the 
Sublime, one end of which is in Allah's hand and the other in yours; so, uphold it so that 
you may not go astray, and your faith shall not suffer any alteration; and the other are my 
Ahl al-Bayt, for the most Gracious and Knowing has informed me that they both shall never 



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Al-Muraja'at 166 
Shi'i-Sunni dialogue 



part from each other till they join me at the Pool.'" [71 



In a section dealing with v Ali's virtues in Al-Mustadrak, the author indicates that Zayd ibn 
Arqam[81 is quoted through two sources both of which are held reliable by both Shaykhs: 
al-Hakim [one of such sources] says that when the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him 
and his progeny, returned from his Farewell Pilgrimage, he camped at Ghadir Khumm and 
ordered the believers to sweep the area under a few huge trees where a pulpit of camel 
litters was made for him. He stood and said: "It seems as if I have been called upon and 
responded to the call, and I enjoin you to look after both the Book of Allah and my 
Progeny; see how you fare with them after me, for they shall never part from each other till 
they join me at the Pool." Then he added: "Allah, the Dear and Mighty, is my Master, and I 
am the master of every believer," then he took 'Ali by the hand and said: "To whomsoever I 
have been a master, this 'Ali is [henceforth] his master; O Lord! Befriend whoever 
befriends him, and be the enemy to whoever antagonizes him." The author quotes this 
lengthy hadith in its entirity. In his Talkhis, al-Thahbi quotes it without commenting on it. 
Al-Hakim, too, quotes it as narrated by Zayd ibn Arqam in his Al-Mustadrak, admitting its 
authenticity. In spite of his intolerance, al-Thahbi admits the same in his Talkhis, to which 
you may refer. 

Imam Ahmed ibn Hanbal has quoted the same hadith as narrated by Zayd ibn Arqam thus: 

"We were in the company of the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his progeny, 
when he camped in a valley called Wadi Khumm, and he ordered everyone to gather for 
prayers in midday heat. He then delivered a sermon to us under the shade of a robe over a 
rush tree [Juncus spinosus] to protect him from the heat of the sun. He said: v Do you know - 
or do you bear witness - that I have more authority over a believer's life than the believer 
himself has?' They answered: 'Yes, indeed, you do.' He said: 'Whosoever accepts me as 
his mawla, v Ali is hismawla; O Lord! Befriend whosoever befriends v Ali and be the enemy 
of whomsoever opposes v Ali.'" 

Al-Nisa'i quotes Zayd ibn Arqam saying that when the Prophet (pbuh) returned from the 
Farewell Pilgrimage, and having reached Ghadir Khumm, he ordered the ground under a 
few huge trees to be swept clean. He announced: "It looks like I have been invited [to my 
Lord's presence] and I have accepted the invitation, and I am leaving with you the Two 
Weighty Things, one of them is bigger than the other: the Book of Allah and my Progeny, 
my Household; so, see how you succeed me in faring with both of them, for they shall never 
part from each other till they join me at the Pool." Then he added: "Allah is my Master, and 
I am the master (mawla) of every believer." Taking v Ali's hand, he added saying, "To 
whomsoever I have been a master, this v Ali is his master; O Lord! Befriend those who 
befriend him, and be the enemy of all those who antagonize him." Abul-Tufail says: "I 
asked Zayd: 'Have you heard these words of the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him 
and his progeny, yourself? "[91 He answered that all those who were there under the huge 
trees had seen the Prophet with their own eyes and heard him with their own ears. This 
hadith is recorded by Muslim in a chapter on the attributes of 'Ali in his Sahih from several 
different narrators ending with Zayd ibn Arqam, but he abridged it and cut it short - and so 
do some people behave. 

Imam Ahmed has recorded this hadith from al-Bara' ibn 'Azib [101 from two avenues 
saying; it reads: "We were in the company of the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) when we 



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Shi'i-Sunni dialogue 

camped at Ghadir Khumm. The call for congregational prayers was made. The site of two 
trees was chosen, and it was swept clean. He performed the noon-time prayers then took 
v Ali by the hand and asked the crowd: v Do you not know that I have more authority over the 
believers than the believers themselves have?' They answered: v Yes, we do.' He asked: v Do 
you know that I have more authority over every believer than the believer himself has?' 
They answered in the affirmative; then he took 'Ali's hand and said: 'Whoever has accepted 
me as his master, this v Ali is his master; O Lord! Befriend whoever befriends him and be 
the enemy of whoever chooses to be his enemy.' v Umer met him immediately following that 
and said to him: 'Congratulations to you, son of Abu Talib! You have become, at dawn and 
at sunset, the master of every believing man and woman.'" 

Al-Nisa'i has quoted "Ayisha daughter of Sa'd saying that she heard her father saying: "I 
have heard the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his progeny, on the Day of 
Juhfa, when he took v Ali's hand and delivered a sermon, praised and adored Allah, then 
said: v O people! I am your wali.' They said: 'You have said the truth.' Then he raised "Ali's 
hand and said: 'This is my wali unto you to discharge the responsibilities of my religion on 
my own behalf, and I support whoever supports him and am the enemy of whosoever 
chooses to be his enemy.'" 

Sa v d is also quoted saying: "We were in the company of the Messenger of Allah (pbuh). 
When he arrived at Ghadir Khumm, those who went ahead of him returned to join him, 
while he waited for those who lagged behind, till all people assembled. Then he said: v O 
people! Who is your waliT They answered: v Allah and His Messenger.' Then he took 'Ali's 
hand, made him rise and said: "Whoever has taken Allah and His Messenger as his wali, 
this CAli) is his wali; O Lord! Befriend whoever befriends him and be the enemy of 
whoever chooses to be his enemy.'" 

The books of traditons recording this incident are numerous and cannot be all cited here. 
They all contain explicit texts indicating that Ali is the Prophet's vicegerent and successor, 
just as al-Fadl ibn al-Abbas Abu Lahab has said: Till 

The one to be recognized as the Vicegeret, generation after generation, 

After Muhammad, is v Ali; for he was his companion in every occasion. 

Sincerely, 

5/7 



f 1 1 Many renown authorities have admitted its authenticity, so much so that even Ibn Hajar 
stated the same, quoting al-Tabrani and others, in the shubha (allegation) number 1 1 of the 
ones which he enumerates on page 25, Section 5, Chapter One, of his book Al-Sawa^iq al- 
Muhriqa. 

[21 He has eulogized his own pure soul simply to attract their attention to the fact that time 
had come to bring his mission to perfection, necessitating the appointment of his successor, 
and that he is unable to postpone doing so for fear he might be called upon [i.e. die] before 



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discharging such mission which he is to bring to perfection, a mission that is indispensable 
to his nation. 

[31 Since the appointment of his brother weighs heavily against those who compete, envy, 
create dissension and hypocrisy, he, peace be upon him and his progeny, desired, before 
making such an announcement, to first apologize to them in the hope that that might touch 
and unify their hearts and in apprehension of their speeches and deeds; he said: "And I am 
responsible," so that they might come to know that he receives orders, and that he is 
responsible to discharge them; therefore, he simply has to do so. Imam al-Wahidi, in his 
book Asbabul Nuzul, quotes Abu Sa v id al-Khudri saying: "The verse v O Messenger! 
Convey that which has been revealed unto you from your Lord' was revealed on Ghadir 
Khumm day in reference to v Ali ibn Abu Talib (as)." 

[41 By saying "You, too, are responsible," he, peace be upon him and his progeny, may 
have implied, as quoted by al-Daylami and others and stated in Al-Sawa^iq al-Muhriqa and 
other books from Ibn Sa v id, that they should follow in their footsteps, since they are 
responsible regarding "Ali's wilayat. Imam al-Wahidi has said: "They are responsible 
regarding thew Hay at of 'Ali and Ahl al-Bayt." Thus, the purpose of his saying "and you, 
too, are responsible" is to threaten those who would dispute the authority of 
his wall and wasi. 

[51 Many have contemplated upon this sermon, giving it due attention, and they have come 
to know that its gist is nothing other than a reference to the fact that "Ali's wilayat is as 
much a root of the faith as his own responsibility as the Imam, for the Prophet (pbuh) first 
put the question: "Do not you bear witness that there is no god but Allah, and that 
Muhammad is His Servant and Messenger?" Then he said: "The Hour is approaching; there 
is no doubt about it, and Allah shall certainly bring to life those who are in the graves," 
following that with a statement in which he mentioned the wilayat so that it would be 
understood that the latter bears the same significance like the matters about which he has 
asked them and to which they have agreed. This is obvious to all the discreet who are 
familiar with the methods and objectives of speech. 

[61 His statement: "I am the mawla" is an outspoken testimony to a significant fact. The 
meaning of "mawla" is: one who is "awla," foremost in status, superior. Thus, the meaning 
of his statement is: "Allah is superior to me, and I am superior to the believers, and whoever 
considers me to be superior to him must also consider v Ali as such." 

[71 This wording of the hadith is quoted by al-Tabrani, Ibn Jarir, al-Hakim al-Tirmithi, from 
Zayd ibn Arqam. It is transmitted by Ibn Hajar from al-Tabrani and others in this exact 
wording, without questioning its authenticity; so, refer to page 25 of Al-Sawa^iq al- 
Muhriqa. 

[81 Refer to page 21 of Al-Khasa'is al-^Alawiyya, where the Prophet (pbuh) is quoted 
saying: "To whomsoever I have been the wall, this Ali) is his wali. 

[91 Abul-Tufayl's question is obviously indicative of his amazement at this nation's 
overlooking this matter regarding v Ali in spite of the hadith it narrates from its Prophet 
(pbuh) in his honor on the day of the Ghadir. As if suspicious of the accuracy of the 
narrated hadith, he went ahead and inquired of Zayd, having heard him narrate the same, 



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"Did you hear it from the Messenger of Allah?!" His tone is that of someone amazed, 
bewildered, and skeptical. Zayd answered him that all individuals present under those trees 
had, indeed, seen the Prophet with their eyes and heard him with their ears; so, Abul-Tufayl 
then knew that the matter was just as al-Kumait, may Allah be merciful unto his soul, says: 

On the day of the dawh, the dawh of the Ghadir, 

Caliphate was made for him manifest and clear, 

Only if the throngs opted to obey; 

Yet I have never seen such a day, 

Nor have I seen such right 

Trampled upon, discarded outright; 

But the men had sold it, and I never saw 

Such a precious thing to sale would go... 

£101 This occurs on page 281 of his Al-Khasa'is al-^Alawiyya, in a chapter dealing with 
v Ali's status in the eyes of Allah, the Exalted, the omni-Scient, and also on page 25 of 
another chapter enjoining acceptance of his w Hay at and warning against bearing animosity 
towards him. 

rill These are among poetic lines composed as the answer of al-Walid ibn 'Uqbah ibn Abu 
Ma' it, quoted by Muhammad Mahmud al-Raffi in his Introduction to Shark al- 
Hashimiyyat, page 8. 



Letter 55 

Why Use it as a Testimonial if not Transmitted Consecutively? 



Muharram 19, 1330 

Shfas apply the principle of consecutive reporting when discussing imamate, due 
to the fact that they consider consecutive reporting as one of the principles of faith; 
so why do you quote the Ghadir hadith in support of your argument although such 
hadith is not consecutively reported according to Sunnis, even if its authenticity is 
attested to by their sahihs7 



Sincerely, 



Sayyid 'Abd al-Husayn Sharaf al-Din al-Musawi 



Al-Muraja'at 170 
Shi'i-Sunni dialogue 



Letter 56 

I Natural Laws Necessitate the Consecutive Reporting of Hadith al-Ghadir 

II The Almighty's Benevolence 

III Concern of the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) 

IV Concern of the Commander of the Faithful 

V al-Husain's Concern 

VI Concern of the Nine Imams (as) 

VII Ships' Concern 

VIII Its Consecutive Reporting Through the Masses 



Muharram 22, 1330 

Suffices to prove its application as an argument what we have mentioned in Letter No. 24 
above. 

1) The consecutive reporting of the Ghadir hadith is necessitated by the natural laws which 
Allah has created. Its similitude is like that of any great historical step undertaken by the most 
important man of a nation who announces, in the presence of thousands of his nationals, the 
undertaking of a major step, so that they may convey its news to various lands and nations, 
especially if such an undertaking enjoys the concern of his own family and their supporters in 



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all generations to come, so that such an announcement might receive the widest possible 
publicity. Can such an announcement, as significant as it is, be transmitted by, say, just one 
single person? Certainly not. Its news would spread as widely as the early morning sun rays, 
encompassing the plains as well as the oceans; "And you shall never find any alteration to 
Allah's order (Qur'an, 33:62)." 

2) Hadith al-Ghadir has won the divine concern of Allah, the Dear One, the Sublime, Who 
inspired to His Messenger, peace be upon him and his progeny, including it in His Qur'an 
which is recited by Muslims even during the late hours of the night or the early hours of the 
day, in public and in private, in their supplications and ceremonial prayers, from the top of 
their pulpits and the heights of their minarets, stating: 

"O Messenger! Convey that which has been revealed unto you from your Lord, and if you do 
not do so, then you have not conveyed His Message at all, and Allah will protect you from 
(evil) men." (Qur'an, 5: 67)LQ 

When he, peace be upon him and his progeny, conveyed the divine Message (implied in this 
verse), appointing v Ali as the Imam and entrusting him with the caliphate, Allah Almighty 
revealed the following verse: 

"Today have I perfected your religion (Islam) for you, completed my blessing unto you, and 
accepted Islam as your religion." (Qur'an, 5:3)£2_L 

So, congratulations upon congratulations to "Ali; this is Allah's favour; He grants it to 
whomsoever He pleases. Anyone who looks into these verses will be profoundly impressed 
by such divine favours. 

3) If divine concern is as such, no wonder, then, that the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon 
him and his progeny, expressed such a profound concern when death approached him, may 
my life be sacrificed for his sake. It was then that, according to the order which he received 
from Allah Almighty, he set to announce 'Ali's wilayat during his supreme pilgrimage, in the 
presence of so many witnesses, without being satisfied with similar previous announcements 
such as his warning in Mecca, or on other occasions with some of which you have by now 
become familiar. He, therefore, invited the believers to participate in his very last pilgrimage, 
known as the Farewell Pilgrimage. People from far and wide responded to his invitation, and 
no less than one hundred thousand pilgrims left Medina with him.[3_l On the standing day at 
"Arafat, he informed the attendants that: " v Ali is of me, and I am of "Ali, and nobody 
discharges the responsibility [of my religion] on my behalf except I and 'Ali.'T41 And when 
he came back from the pilgrimage and arrived at the valley of Khumm, trusted Gabriel 
descended upon him with "ayat al-tabligh," verse of conveying the Message, from the Lord of 
the Worlds. Immediately thereupon, he alighted there till those who lagged behind him, as 
well as those who went ahead of him, joined him. When they all assembled, he conducted the 
obligatory prayers then delivered a sermon about Allah, the Dear and the Omniscient, 
emphasizing the significance of "Ali's wilayat. You have already heard a glittering report of 
its news, and what you have not heard is even more exact and more explicit; yet what you 
have heard should suffice you. Its news was carried on behalf of the Messenger of Allah, 
peace be upon him and his progeny, by all those masses who were present with him there and 
then and who are estimated to have been over one hundred thousand pilgrims from various 
lands. 



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The order of Allah, the Dear and Sublime, which does not suffer any alteration in His 
creation, necessitates the consecutive reporting of this hadith in spite of all obstacles in 
conveying it. Yet the Imams of Ahl al-Bayt (as) follow their own wise methods of 
disseminating it and publicizing for it. 

4) Referring to the latter, I suggest that you may consider the measure taken by the 
Commander of the Faithful (as), then Caliph, in gathering people in the spacious meeting 
place, the Rahba plain. He then said: "I ask in the Name of Allah each Muslim who heard 
what the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said on the Ghadir Day to stand and testify to what he 
heard. Nobody should stand except those who saw the Prophet with their own eyes and heard 
him with their own ears." Thirty sahabis, twelve of whom had particiated in the Battle of 
Badr, stood and testified that the Prophet (pbuh) took 'Ali by the hand and asked people: "Do 
you know that I have more authority over the believers than the believers themselves have?" 
They answered in the affirmative. He, peace be upon him and his progeny, then said: "To 
whomsoever I have been mawla, this CAli) is his mawla; O Lord! Befriend whoever befriends 
him, and be the enemy of whosoever chooses to be his enemy." You know that accusing 
thirty sahabis of being liars is rejected by reason; therefore, the achievement of consecutive 
reporting through their testimony is an irrefutable and undeniable proof. 

The same hadith was transmitted from those thirty sahabis by all those crowds who were then 
present at the Rahba, and who disseminated it after their dispersal throughout the land, thus 
providing it with extremely wide publicity. Obviously, the Rahba incident took place during 
the caliphate of the Commander of the Faithful (as) who received the oath of allegiance in the 
year 35 A.H. The Ghadir event took place during the Farewell Pilgrimage, 10 A.H. The time 
period separating the first date from the second is twenty-five years during which many 
events took place such as a devastating plague, wars, the opening of new countries, and the 
invasions contemporary to the three righteous caliphs. This time period, one fourth of a 
century, merely due to its duration, wars and invasions, in addition to a sweeping and 
devastating plague, had ended the lives of many of those who had witnessed the Ghadir event, 
especially the elderly among the sahabah as well as their youths who were eager to meet their 
Lord through conducting jihad in His way, the Exalted, the Omniscient, and in the way of His 
Messenger, peace be upon him and his progeny, so much so that their dead outnumbered their 
survivors. Some of them were scattered throughout the land, and many of those were not 
present at the Rahba except those who kept company with the Commander of the Faithful (as) 
in Iraq, and these were only males. In spite of all this, thirty sahabah, twelve of whom were 
participants in the Battle of Badr, had heard hadith al-Ghadir from the Messenger of Allah, 
peace be upon him and his progeny. 

There may have been others who hated to testify, such as Anas ibn Malik[5J. and others who 
received their due punishment in lieu of the prayers of the Commander of the Faithful to 
Allah to punish those who hid the truth while knowing it. Had he been able to gather 
all sahabis who were alive then, males and females, and address them in the same way which 
he employed at Rahba, several times that many would have testified; so, what if he had asked 
people in Hijaz before the passage of such a long time after the incident of the Ghadir? 
Contemplate upon this fact and you will find it a very strong proof testifying to the 
consecutive reporting of hadith al-Ghadir. 

The books of tradition should suffice you in their documentation of hadith al-Ghadir. Take, 
for example, what Imam Ahmed has quoted on page 370, Vol 4, of his Musnad from Abul 
Tufayl who has said: '"Ali gathered people at the Rahba, then he said to them: V I adjure in the 



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name of Allah every Muslim who heard what the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and 
his progeny, had said on the Ghadir Day to state his testimony.' Thirty persons stood up." Abu 
Na'im has said: "Many stood up and testified how the Prophet (pbuh) took 'Ali by the hand 
and asked people: 'Do you know that I have more authority over the believers than the 
believers themselves have?' They answered: 'We do, O Messenger of Allah!' Then he said: 
'To whomsoever I have been amawla, this 'Ali is his maw la; O Lord! Befriend whoever 
befriends him and be the enemy of whoever sets himself as his enemy.'" Abul-Tufail 
continues to say: "I left the place dismayed (disgusted with many people's ignorance of this 
hadith), and I met Zayd ibn Arqam and said to him: 'I have heard 'Ali say such and such.' 
Zayd said: 'Then do not deny that you have heard the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him 
and his progeny, say so about him.'" 

Zayd's testimony stated above, and 'Ali's statement in this regard, may be added to the 
testimony of the thirty sahabis, thus bringing the number of narrators of this hadith to thirty- 
twosahabis. Imam Ahmed has recorded 'Ali's hadith on page 119, Vol. 1, of his Musnad as 
transmitted by Abdul-Rahman ibn Abu Layla. The latter says: "I saw 'Ali at the Rahba 
abjuring people to testify, emphasizing that only those who had seen and heard the Prophet 
(pbuh) should stand and testify. Twelve participants in the Battle of Badr, whom I remember 
so well as if I am looking at them right now, did so." Abdul-Rahman quotes the latter 
testifying that they had all heard the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his progeny, 
asking people on the Ghadir Day: "Do not I have more authority over the believers' lives than 
they themselves do, and my wives are their mothers?" The audience responded: "Yes, indeed, 
O Messenger of Allah!" Then he said, as Abdul-Rahman quotes him, "Then whosoever takes 
me as his mawla must take 'Ali as his mawla; O Mighty Lord! Befriend whoever befriends 
him and be the enemy of whoever bears animosity towards him!" 

Another narration is recorded by imam Ahmed on the same page. It quotes the Prophet (pbuh) 
saying: "O Lord! Befriend whoever takes him as his wall and be the enemy of whoever 
antagonizes him; support whoever supports him, and abandon whoever abandons him." The 
narrative goes on to state that with the exception of three men, the witnesses stood to testify. 
'Ali invoked Allah to curse those who hid the truth, and his invocation was heeded. If you add 
'Ali and Zayd ibn Arqam to the afore-mentioned twelve participants in the Battle of Badr, 
then fourteen is obviously the number of witnesses. By tracing the traditions regarding the 
Rahba incident, 'Ali's wisdom becomes manifest in disseminating hadith al-Ghadir and 
publicizing for it. 

The Master of Martyrs, Abu Abdullah al-Husain, peace be upon him, has left us a legacy of a 
very memorable stand which he took during the reign of Mu'awiyah. It was then that truth 
became manifest. It was similar to the stand taken by 'Ali at the Rahba. During the pilgrimage 
season, al-Husain (as), surrounded by throngs of pilgrims, praised his grandfather, father, 
mother and brother, and delivered an unprecedented, wise and eloquent speech that captivated 
his audience and won their hearts and minds. His sermon was inclusive, one wherein he 
reawakened the masses, traced and researched history, and paid the Ghadir incident its fair 
and just dues. His great stand, therefore, produced great results, and it became equivalent to 
hadith al-Ghadir in its fame and wide publicity. 

6) His nine descendants, all sinless Imams, applied their own methods to publicizing and 
propagating the same hadith. Their methods reflect their wisdom which is comprehended by 
by all those who possess sound senses. They used the eighteenth of Thul-Hijjah as a special 
annual feast to congratulate and congratulate one another, merrily and humbly seeking 



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Al-Muraja'at 174 
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nearness to Allah, the Exalted, the Mighty, through fasting, prayers and supplications. They 
go beyond limits in their deeds of goodness and acts of righteousness, thanking Allah for the 
blessings which He bestowed upon them on that Day by virtue of the text that nominated the 
Commander of the Faithful (as) as Caliph, and His divine promise for him to be the Imam. 
They used to visit their kin, give more generously to their families, visit their brethren, look 
after their neighbours, and enjoin their followers to do likewise. 

7) For this reason, the eighteenth of Thul-Hijjah of every year is celebrated as a feast by the 
Shi' as of all times and climes. [61 It is then that they rush to their mosques to offer obligatory 
and supererogatory prayers, recite the Glorious Qur'an, and read the most celebrated 
supplications as a token of thanking Allah Almighty for perfecting His religion and 
completing His blessings upon them by nominating the Commander of the Faithful (as) as the 
Imam [in the theological as well as the secular sense]. It is then that they exchange visits and 
happily wish each other the best, seeking nearness to Allah through righteousnes and 
goodness, and through pleasing their kin and neighbours. On that day, every year, they visit 
the mausoleum of the Commander of the Faithful (as), where no less than a hundred thousand 
pilgrims come from far and wide. There, they worship Allah on that day in the same way their 
purified Imams used to worship Him: through fasting, prayers, and remembrance of Allah. 
They seek nearness to Him through acts of righteousness and the payment of sadaqat. They 
do not disperse before addressing the sacred shrine with a highly commended address 
authored by some of their Imams. It includes testifying to the glorious stand taken by the 
Commander of the Faithful (as), honouring his feats and struggle to lay the foundations of the 
principles of the faith, his service of the Master of Prophets and Messengers (pbuh), and his 
virtues and merits, among which was the honour which he had received from the Prophet on 
the Ghadir Day. This is the custom of the Shfas every year. Their orators have always been 
referring to hadith al-Ghadir, quoting its traditon or even without reference to them, and their 
poets are accustomed to compose poems in its commemoration in old as well as modern 
times ;JTL therefore, there is no way to cast doubts about its being consecutively reported from 
the sources of Ahl al-Bayt (as) and their Shi'as. Their motives to memorize it by heart, their 
efforts to maintain its pristine text, safeguard its authenticity, publicize and disseminate it.., all 
have indeed resulted in the achievement of their most aspired objectives. Refer to all the four 
major Shr a Musnads, as well as other Shfa references, containing well-documented and 
supported traditions, and you will find each one of them reverberating with the same meaning, 
and each tradition supporting the other. Whoever acquaints himself with these traditions will 
find out that this hadith is mutawatir through their precious sources. 

8) There is no doubt about its being consecutively reported through Sunni sources, according 
to natural laws, as you have come to know; "Allah's creation suffers no alteration; this is the 
Right Guidance, but most people do not know." (Qur'an, 30:30) The author of Al-Fatawa 
alHamidiyya, in spite of his stubbornness, admits the consecutive reporting of this hadith in 
his abridged dissertation titled Al-Salawat al-Fakhira fil Ahadith al-Mutawatira." Al-Sayyuti 
and other scholars of exegesis all admit the same. Refer to Muhammad ibn Jarir al-Tabari, 
author of the famous works titled "Tafsir" and "Tarikh," Ahmed ibn Muhammad ibn Sa v id ibn 
Aqdah, Muhammad ibn Ahmed ibn "Uthman al-Thahbi, have all written critiques of the 
sources of this hadith. Each one of them has written an entire book on this subject. Ibn Jarir 
includes in his own book as many as one hundred and five sources for this hadith 
alone. £81 Al-Thahbi, in spite of his fanaticism, has testified to the truth of many of its sources. 
In chapter sixteen of Ghayat al-Maram, as many as eighty ahadith transmitted by Sunnis 
testify to the authenticity of the Ghadir hadith. Yet he did not quote al-Tirmithi, al-Nisai, al- 
Tabrani, al-Bazzar, Abu YaTi, or quite a few other reporters who transmit this hadith. Al- 



Sayyid 'Abd al-Husayn Sharaf al-Din al-Musawi 



Al-Muraja'at 175 
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Sayyuti quotes this hadith while discussing v Ali in his book Tarikh al-Khulafd transmitted by 
al-Tirmithi, adding, "This hadith is also recorded by Ahmed as transmitted by v Ali (as), and 
also by Ayyub al-Ansari, Zayd ibn Arqam, "Umer [inb al-Khattab], and Thu Murr. Abu YaTi 
quotes it from Abu Hurayrah, al-Tabrani from Ibn v Umer and from Ibn Abbas as transmitted 
by Malik ibn al-Huwayrith, Habshi ibn Janadah, and Jarir, and also by Ammarah and 
Buraydah." 

A proof of the fame of this hadith is evident from the fact that imam Ahmed records it in 
his Musnad from Riyah ibn al-Harish as transmitted by two sources. It states that a group of 
men once came to "Ali (as) and said: "Assalamu Alaikum, ommawla." The Imam asked who 
they were, and they answered him by saying that they were his subjects. The Imam asked 
them: "How can I be your mawla, while you are [stranger] bedouin Arabs?" They said: "We 
have heard the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his progeny, on the Ghadir Day 
saying: "Whoever I have been his mawla, 'AH is his mawla.'" Riyah says that when they left, 
he followed them and asked them who they were, and that they said to him: "We are a group 
of the Ansar (Medenite Supporters) in the company of Abu Ayyub al-Ansari." Another proof 
of its fame is what has been recorded by Abu Ishaq al-ThaTabi while explaining Surat al- 
Ma'arij in his book Al-Taf sir al-Kabir, relying on two very highly respected sources, and 
stating the following: 

The Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his progeny, ordered people on the Ghadir 
Day to assemble, then he took "Ali's hand and said: "Whoever accepts me as his mawla, 'Ali 
is his mawla." The news of this announcement spread throughout the land, and al-Nu v man al- 
Fahri came to know about this hadith. Riding his she-camel, he came to meet the Messenger 
of Allah, peace be upon him and his progeny. Having alighted, he said the following to the 
Prophet: "O Muhammad! You ordered us to bear witness that there is no deity except Allah 
and that you are the Messenger of Allah, and we obeyed; then you ordered us to offer prayers 
five times a day, and we agreed; then you ordered us to pay zakat, and we agreed; then you 
ordered us to fast during the month of Ramadan and we agreed; then you ordered us to 
perform the pilgrimage and we agreed; then, as if all of this is not sufficient, you favoured 
your cousin to all of us and said "Whoever accepts me as his mawla, v Ali is hismawla;' is this 
one of your own orders, or is it Allah's?" He, peace be upon him and his progeny, answered: 
"I swear by the One and only God that this is the command of Allah, the Exalted and omni- 
scient;" whereupon al-Harith left heading towards his animal murmuring softly to himself: "O 
Lord! If what Muhammad (pbuh) says is true, then let it rain stones, or let a severe torment 
descend upon us." He hardly reached his animal before Allah caused a stone to cleave his 
head, penetrate his body and come out of his anus, leaving him dead on the spot. It is in 
reference to that incident that Allah Almighty revealed the following verse: 

"A man who brought a question (to the Prophet) asked for a sure penalty - which cannot be 
warded off by those who reject the truth - from Allah, Lord of the Ways of 
Ascent. "[91 (Qur'an, 70:1-3) 

This is how the tradition, quoted verbatim, \ 101 concludes. Its authenticity is accepted by 
many Sunni scholars as a common fact, Wassalam. 

Sincerely, 

Sh 



Sayyid 'Abd al-Husayn Sharaf al-Din al-Musawi 



Al-Muraja'at 176 
Shi'i-Sunni dialogue 



OJ We do not dispute its revelation in reference to v Ali's wilayaton Ghadir Khumm Day, and 
our narratives from the sources of the purified progeny are consecutive. Suffices you for 
reference to its narration by others besides the latter what Imam al-Wahid has quoted in his 
exegesis of Surat al-Ma'ida on page 150 of his book Asbabul Nuzul from two respected 
sources: "Atiyyah and Abu Sa'id al-Khudri. The author says: "This verse [that is, the one 
reading: "O Messenger! Convey that which has been revealed unto you from your Lord"] was 
revealed on Ghadir Khumm Day in reference to v Ali ibn Abu Talib (as)." The same is 
narrated by al-Hafiz Abu Na v im who interprets it in his bookNuzul al-Qur'an relying on two 
sources one of which is Abu Sa'id and the other is Abu Rafi\ It is also narrated by Imam 
Ibrahim ibn Muhammad al-Hamawaini al-Shaffi in his book Al-Fawa'id from various sources 
ending with Abu Hurayrah. It is quoted by Imam Abu Ishaq al-ThaTabi while explaining the 
meaning of this verse in his Al- Tafsir al-Kabir from two respected sources. What testifies to 
its reference to v Ali (as) is the fact that prayers had been already established, zakat was 
enforced, fasting was legislated, the pilgrimage to the House was being conducted, what is 
permissible was clarified and so was what is forbidden, the Shari'ah was already regulated 
and its injunctions enforced; so, what else required Allah to place so much emphasis other 
than on the issue of caliphate, one which prompted Him to pressure His Prophet in a way 
which was almost similar to threatening? And regarding what, if not caliphate, could the 
Prophet (pbuh) feel presentiment of dissension if he did not convey it, something which 
required God's own immunity against any harm that might result from discharging it? 

[21 sahihs documenting the occasion that necessitated the revelation of this verse are 
consecutive from the sources of the purified progeny (as). We do not doubt what the purified 
progeny of Muhammad (pbuh) narrates even when al-Bukhari claims that the verse was 
revealed on the day of v Arafat, for the members of the Prophet's house know what is revealed 
in their house. 

[31 Sayyid Ahmed Zayni Dahlan, in a chapter on the Farewell Pilgrimage in his book Al-Sirah 
al-Nabawiyya [Biography of the Prophet], writes: "Ninety thousand - some say a hundred and 
twenty-four thousand, while others say more - accompanied him, peace be upon him and his 
progeny, from Medina, and this is just a rough figure of the number of people who 
accompanied him," to the end of his statement from which you come to know that those who 
went back with him were more than a hundred thousand, and they all witnessed the Ghadir 
hadith. 

[41 We have quoted this hadith in our Letter No. 48; so, if you refer to it, you will find 
it verbatim numbered 15 in the said reference; the same Letter refers to and comments on it in 
a way worthy of the attention of researchers. 

[51 He, peace be upon him, said to him then: "Why don't you stand with other companions of 
the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) and testify to what you heard of him then?" He answered: "O 
Commander of the Faithful! I have grown old, and I have forgotten it." "Ali (as) said: "If you 
are telling a lie, then may Allah strike you with a white [disease, i.e. leprosy] which your 
turban cannot conceal." He hardly left before his face was filled with the marks of leprosy; so, 
he used to say: "I have become the object of a curse invoked by the Righteous Servant." This 
incident is quite famous, and a testimony for its authenticity exists when Imam Ahmed ibn 
Hanbal quotes it at the end of page 1 19, Vol. 1, of his Musnad, adding: "They all, except three 



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Al-Muraja'at 177 
Shi'i-Sunni dialogue 



men, rose to testify; and those three fell under the effect of his curse." 



[61 Ibn al-Athir, while narrating the significant events that took place in the year 352 in 
his Kamil, says the following on page 181, Vol. 8, of his history book: "On the eighteenth of 
Thul-Hijjah of that year, Mu v izz al-Dawla ordered decorations to be installed in Baghdad, 
fires to be lit at the police quarters, and all merriments be displayed; so, market-places were 
opened at night just as is customary during "Id nights; he did all that to celebrate "lid al- 
Ghadir, Ghadir Khumm. Drums were beaten; and trumpets were sounded, and it was quite a 
memorable day." 

[71 Al-Kumait ibn Zayd has said: 

On the day of the dawh, the Ghadir dawh day, 

Caliphate was made manifest for him: were they to obey... 

Abu Tammam, in a poetic masterpiece which he includes in his diwan, says: 

On the Day of Ghadir, truth looked clear and bright; 

Redolently, with no curtains nor bars to hide; 

The Messenger of Allah stood there to invite 

Them to come close to what is just and right, 

Gesturing with his hands, introducing your wali 

And mawla; yet see what happened to you and me! 

He brings the news to people so eloquently, 

While they come with grudge and depart grudgingly, 

Yet he made the truth eloquently shine, 

While they usurped even your right and mine. 

You made its destiny the sharp blades of your sword: 

And the grave for whoever wanted the truth to uphold... 

[81 The author of Ghayat al-Maram says near the conclusion of Chapter 16, page 89, of his 
book: "Ibn Jarir has quoted the Ghadir hadith from ninety-five sources in a book which he 
dedicated to this subject, calling it Al-Wilayat, and Ibn "Uqdah has quoted it from one hundred 
and five sources written down in a book which he also dedicated solely for this subject- 
matter. Imam Ahmed ibn Muhammad ibn al-Siddiq al-Magharibi has stated that both al- 
Thahbi and Ibn "Uqdah have dedicated a special book solely for this hadith;" so, refer to the 
sermon in his valuable book titled Fath al-Malik al-^Ali Bisihhati Babil "Ilm ^Ali. 

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Al-Muraja'at 178 
Shi'i-Sunni dialogue 

[91 This is quoted from al-ThaTabi by a group of Sunni dignitaries such as scholar al-Shiblinji 
of Egypt in a biography of 'Ali in his book Nurul Absar; so, you may refer to its eleventh 
page if you wish. 

riOl Refer to what al-Halabi has quoted of the narratives related to the Farewell Pilgrimage in 
his book of biography known as Al-Sira al-Halabiyya and you will find this hadith at the end 
of page 214 of its third volume. 



Letter 57 

I Interpreting Hadith al Ghadir 
II The Link 



Muharram 25, 1330 

1) Believing in the truthfulness of the sahabah requires interpreting hadith al 
Ghadir, whether it is consecutively reported or not. For this reason, Sunnis have 
claimed that "mawla" bears various meanings all of which have been applied in the 
Holy Qur'an. It may mean "the deserving," as the Almighty says when He 
addresses the infidels: "Your resort is the Fire; it is yommawla," meaning "You 
deserve the punishment of the Fire." Another meaning is "the supporter," as Allah, 
praised be His Name, says: "It is so because Allah is the mawla of those who 
believe, and the infidels have no mawla." It also means "the heir," as in the 
statement of the Almighty: "For each We have assigned mawali [mawlas] from the 
inheritance of the parents and the relatives," meaning heirs. It also means 
"relatives," as is clearly understood from the following verse of the Dear and 
Mighty One: "I fear the mawali after me," meaning relatives. It also means 
"friend," as the verse suggests: "On that Day, nomawla will be able to do any good 
to his mawla." "Wali" also connotes the person who is most qualified to fare with 
someone else's affairs, as we may say: "Mr. so and so is the wali of the minor." It 
also means "the supporter" and "the loved one." Some have said: "The gist of the 
hadith could be v whoever I have supported, befriended, or loved;' for v Ali was as 
such, and this meaning agrees with the prestige enjoyed by the good ancestors, and 
with the imamate of the three righteous caliphs, may Allah be pleased with them. 

2) It is also possible that some people regarded this hadith to refer to v Ali simply 
because one of v Ali's companions in Yemen noticed his uncompromising policy in 
executing the commandments of Allah; therefore, he spoke ill of him; for this 
reason, the Prophet, peace be upon him and his progeny, did not appreciate their 
attitude and stood up on the Ghadir Day, praised the Imam and lauded his 
contributions, attracting the attention to his prestige and defending his name against 
those who intended to chew it. The pretext used by such a group of advocates is 
that in his sermon, the Prophet (pbuh) praised N Ali in particular, saying: "Whoever I 
have been his wali, v Ali is hiswali," and his Ahl al Bayt in general, saying: "I am 



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Al-Muraja'at 179 
Shi'i-Sunni dialogue 

leaving with you the Two Weighty Things: the Book of Allah and my progeny, my 
Ahl al Bayt;" so, he simply recommended that they should cherish s Ali in particular 
and his kin in general. They claim that such a statement neither commits Ali to be 
his successor, nor does it connote imamate for him, Wassalam. 

Sincerely, 

S 



Letter 58 

I Hadith al Ghadir Cannot be Interpreted, 
II Pretext for its Interpretation is Speculative and Misleading. 

Muharram 27, 1330 

1) Somehow I have the feeling that your heart is not satisfied with what you yourself ha 
stated, and your soul is not thereby pleased! You revere the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) a 
cherish his pristine wisdom, infallibility, conclusive Prophethood, believing that he is t 
master of the wise, and the seal of the prophets: "He does not speak of his own inclination; it 
but a revealed inspiration; he has been taught by one mighty in power (Qur'an, 53:3-5)." 

Suppose a philosopher from another faith asks you about the Ghadir Day saying: 

"Why did he (pbuh) stop all those thousands of companions from proceeding, confining the 
in midday heat in such a sunbaked plain? Why did he make sure to call back whoe\ 
advanced, and wait for whoever lagged behind? Why did he camp with them in such a desoh 
place where neither water nor vegetation was available? Then why did he preach to them abc 
Allah Almighty in that place and enjoined those who were present there to convey, up< 
dispersing, what they had heard to those who had not, and why did he start with a s< 
eulogizing sermon, saying: v It looks like my Lord's Messenger [angel of death, Isra'il] is abc 
to come to call me [to return to my Lord] and I will respond to the call; I am responsible, a 
so are you,' and what message was the Prophet (pbuh) enjoined to convey and which the nati< 
was enjoined to heed? Why did he ask them: v Do not you believe that there is no god but All 
and that Muhammad (pbuh) is His Servant and Messenger, that His Paradise is just and F 
Fire is just, that death is just and the life after death is just, that the Hour is undoubted 
approaching, that Allah will bring to life all those who are lying in their graves?' and th 
responded in the affirmative? Why did he immediately take "Ali's hand, lift it till the white h; 
in his arm pit became visible, saying: O people! Allah is my mawla, and I am the mawla 
the believers;' then why did he explain his statement "I am the mawla of the believers' 1 
asking them: "Do not I have more authority over your lives than you yourselves have?' Th 
why did he say, having made such an explanation, "Whoever has accepted me as his mawi 
this CAli) is hismawla; O Lord! Befriend whosoever befriends him and be the enemy 



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180 



whosoever antagonizes him; support whosoever supports him and betray whosoever betrays 
him,' and why did he specifically choose him and pray for him in such a manner which is 
worthy only of just Imams and truthful successors? And why did he require them to testify by 
asking them: v Do I not have more authority over you than you yourselves have?' and they 
answered in the affirmative; then he said: v To whomsoever I have been a mawla, v Ali is 
his mawla,' or v To whomsoever I have been a wali, v Ali is his wali, and why did he link the 
Qur'an to his progeny, thus making them the examples for the wise to follow till the day of 
Judgment? Why so much concern from such a wise Prophet? What was the mission that 
necessitated all these introductions, and what was the aspired objective from such a memorable 
stand? What was the message which Allah Almighty ordered him to convey when He said: v O 
Messenger! Convey what has just been revealed unto you from your Lord, and if you do not 
do so, then you have not conveyed His Message (at all), and Allah will protect you from (evil) 
men (Qur'an, 5:67),' and what mission required so much emphasis from Allah Who demanded, 
in a tone so close to threatening, to be conveyed? What was the affair regarding which the 
Prophet feared dissension if not conveyed by him, one the announcement of which required a 
profound protection from Allah against the harm of the hypocrites...?" 

I ask you, in the name of your grandfather, if you are asked all these questions, will you 
answer them by saying that Allah, the omni Scient, the all Powerful, simply wanted to explain 
to the Muslims how 'Ali had been supporting them, and how friendly he was to them? I do not 
think that you would give such an answer, and I do not think that you would interpret Allah's 
words, or the words of the master of the wise, the seal of messengers and prophets, as such. 
You are above thinking that he (pbuh) would exhaust his means and resources in explaining 
something too clear, according to reason and common sense, to require such an explanation. 
There is no doubt that you look at the actions and statements of the Prophet (pbuh) in a better 
light, one which is not derided by the discreet, nor criticized by philosophers or sages. There is 
no doubt that you appreciate the value of his statements and actions and render them to 
wisdom and infallibility. 

Allah the Almighty has said: "He is a blessed Messenger endowed with strength from the One 
with the Throne, obeyed, able, and trustworthy; certainly your fellow is not possessed (Qur'an, 
81:19-22)." You are above accusing him of clarifying what is already clear, or expounding 
upon what is already common knowledge, or bringing unusual introductions for such 
clarifications, or introductions having no bearing over nor corelation thereto. Allah and His 
Messenger are above that. You, may Allah support the truth through your person, know that 
what suits such measures, undertaken in the midday heat of that place, ones that are conducive 
to his actions and statements on the Ghadir Day, is nothing less than the conveying of the 
divine Message, and the appointment of his vicegerent. Logical proofs and rational 
explanations unequivocally prove that what he intended to do on that day was nothing other 
than the appointment of 'Ali as his vicegerent and successor. This hadith, supported by proofs, 
is an explicit text regarding v Ali's caliphate, one which does not even require an interpretation, 
and there is no way to understand it otherwise. This is quite clear for anyone who is "... with a 
sound mind, attentive, and a witness (Qur'an, 50:37)." 

2) As regarding the pretext they claim, it is nothing but a speculation and an adulteration. It is 
the sophistry of confusion and embellishment. The Prophet (pbuh) dispatched v Ali to Yemen 
twice, the first took place in 8 A.H. It was then that scandal mongers spread rumours about 
him, and some people complained about him to the Prophet (pbuh) upon their return to 
Medina. It was then that he resented their complaints, JJJ and they saw the sparkle of anger on 



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181 



his face; yet they did not refrain from trying again. The second time took place in 10 A.H. It 
was then that the Prophet (pbuh) tied a knot on 'Ali's standard, fixed his head wear with his 
own hands, and said: "Proceed, and do not be distracted;" whereupon 'Ali (as) proceeded to 
his destination as the divinely guided leader of the rest till he discharged the responsibility 
entrusted to him by the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his progeny. Then he 
participated in the Prophet's Farewell Pilgrimage. It was then that the Prophet welcomed him 
very warmly and even shared with him his own offering. It was then that no scandal monger 
dared to open his mouth, nor did any unfair person charge him with anything; so, how can this 
hadith be necessitated by the objections of those in the opposition party? Or how could it be 
only an answer to their charges, as some people claim? 

Yet mere antagonism to 'Ali is not sufficient for the Prophet to pile praises on him in the way 
which he has done from a pulpit of camel saddles on the Ghadir Day except, Allah forbid, that 
he risks his own deeds and statements, responsibilities and mission, just to please "Ali. His 
divine wisdom is way above that, for Allah, praised be His Name, says: "It is the saying of a 
glorious Messenger; it is not the speech of a poet; little do you believe; nor is it the speech of a 
monk; little do you remember; it is but revelation from the Lord of the Worlds." (69:40-43) 

Had he desired to just show 'Ali's contributions, and to rebut those who bore grudge against 
him, he (pbuh) would simply have said: "This is my cousin, my son in law, the father of my 
descendants, the master of my household; therefore, do not harm him," or something like this 
to show mere admission of status and dignity. But the way this hadith is worded gives no 
impression other than what we have suggested. It points out rational and deductive proofs. Let 
the reason be whatever it may be, the statements quite obviously bear explicit meanings which 
demand no inquiry into their causes. 

As regarding his reference to his household in hadith al Ghadir, it is only to support the same 
meaning which we have suggested, since he correlated them to the Glorious Book of Allah, 
setting them as examples for all the wise, saying: "I am leaving with you these which, as long 
as you adhere to, shall never let you stray: the Book of Allah, and my progeny, my household." 
He did not do that only so that the nation might realize that it had none to refer to, nor rely 
upon, after the Prophet, other than both of them. Suffices you for a testimony regarding the 
Imams from the Prophet's purified progeny (as) is that they are correlated to Allah's Book 
which no wrong can approach from front nor from back. Just as it is not possible to refer to 
any book which differs in its judgment from the Book of Allah, the Praised One, the Sublime, 
it is not possible likewise to refer to an Imam who opposes in his judgment the Imams from 
the purified progeny (as). 

Consider his statement, peace be upon him and his progeny, "They shall never separate till 
they join me at the Pool;" it is a proof that the earth shall never be without an Imam from his 
loins who is equivalent to the Book. Anyone who scrutinizes this hadith will find it restricting 
the caliphate to the Imams from the purified progeny of the Prophet (pbuh). This is supported 
by the hadith reported by Zayd ibn Thabit and quoted by Ahmed in hisMusnad at the 
beginning of page 122, Vol. 5. It states that the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his 
progeny, has said: "I am leaving you with two successors: the Book of Allah, like a rope 
extending from heavens to earth, and my household, for they both shall never part from each 
other till they join me at the Pool." Such a statement is indeed indicative of assigning the 
caliphate to the Imams from the purified progeny, peace be upon them. You know that the text 
which emphasizes following the Prophet's progeny implies following "Ali's leadership, since 



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v Ali, after the Prophet (pbuh), is the undisputed master, and the obeyed Imam of his 
household. On one hand, hadith al Ghadir and others like it imply that v Ali is the Imam of the 
Prophet's household whose status, according to Allah and His Messenger, is equal to that of 
the Holy Qur'an. On the other hand, it gives credit to his own great personality because of 
which he became the wali of all those whose wali is none other than the Messenger of Allah 
(pbuh), Wassalam. 

Sincerely, 

Sh 



JJJWe have clarified the same in our Letter No. 36; so, refer to it and do not overlook our 
comment in this regard. 



Letter 59 

I Truth Manifests, 
II Evasion. 



Muharram 28, 1330 

1)1 have never seen, in the past or in the present, anyone more gentle in his tone, 
more strong in his argument, than your own self. Now truth has manifested itself 
due to the proofs which you have brought forth, thus uncovering the mask of doubt, 
revealing the pleasant countenance of conviction. No longer do we claim that the 
meaning of "wali" and "mawla" in hadith al Ghadir is "foremost," or that it implies 
the "supporter," or the like, nor anything akin to what that man who asked for a 
sure torment had suggested; your view regarding the "mawla" stands on firm 
grounds, and is taken for granted. 

2) I wish you agree to our interpretation of the said hadith which is endorsed by a 
group of learned ^ulema, including imam Ibn Hajar in his Al-Sawaiq al-Muhriqa, 
and al Halabi in his Sirat. They argue that even if we agree that he ( v Ali) is the 
most worthy of imamate, the [Prophet's] intention here is futuristic; otherwise, he 
would have become the Imam in spite of the presence of the Prophet (pbuh) [which 
is an impossible situation, since the Prophet, as long as he was alive, was the sole 



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Al-Muraja'at 183 
Shi'i-Sunni dialogue 

Imam tr.], who did not mind the forthcoming of an Imam after him. It is as though 
the Prophet (pbuh) had said: " v Ali shall be the Imam as soon as he receives the oath 
of allegiance;" so, such a situation will not collide with the precedence of the three 
Imams; it thus safeguards the honour of the good ancestors, may Allah Almighty be 
pleased with them all. 

Sincerely, 

S 



Letter 60 

Evasion Refuted 

Muharram 30, 1330 

You have, may Allah support the truth through your person, asked us to be convinced that 
the gist of hadith al Ghadir is that 'Ali is the most worthy of imamate when and if the 
Muslims choose him as such and swear the oath of allegiance to him, hence his priority to 
which the hadith hints is futuristic, rather than immediate. In other words, such a priority 
will take place when and if it is forcibly taken, rather than being actual, so that it does not 
clash with the caliphate of the three Imams who preceded him [in ruling the Muslims]. We 
ask you in the light of the truth, the dignity of justice, the honour of fairness, and the logic 
of fair play, if you yourself are convinced of it so that we may follow suit and follow in 
your footsteps. Do you agree to give such an explanation yourself, or can it be attributed to 
you, so that we may follow in your footsteps and do as you do? I do not think that you are 
convinced or pleased with a view such as this. I am convinced that you yourself wonder 
about anyone who would accept to derive such a meaning for this hadith when the text does 
not at all suggest it, nor can anyone conceive it as such; nay, it even challenges the wisdom 
and discretion of the Prophet (pbuh)..., astaghfir- Allah. It neither agrees with his great deeds 
nor very serious statements made on the Ghadir Day, nor with the irrefutable proofs which 
we brought forth above, nor with what al Harith ibn al Nu v man al Fahri understood, and 
what is emphasized by Allah and His Messenger, as well as all the companions. 

Yet even the pending priority does not actually agree with the general meaning of this 
hadith, for it obviously does not necessitate that v Ali (as) should not have been the mawla of 
the three caliphs, nor the mawla of anyone who died while being contemporary to any of 
them. This is exactly the opposite of the conclusion driven home by the Prophet (pbuh) who 
asked: "Do I not have more authority over the believers than the believers themselves 
have?" and people answered him in the affirmative; then he (pbuh) said: "To whomsoever I 
have been the mawlaii.t. master of each and every Muslim individual, without any 
exception), v Ali is his mawla." So, as you see, nobody is made the exception [other than, of 
course, the person of the Prophet himself tr.] implied in this statement; 'Ali is indeed 
the maw/awithout any argument. Both Abu Bakr and 'Umer, having heard the words of the 



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Al-Muraja'at 184 
Shi'i-Sunni dialogue 

Prophet (pbuh) on the Ghadir Day, said to v Ali:J_JJ "You have, O son of Abu Talib, become 
the mawla of every believing man and woman, "thus admitting that he had become the 
master of every believing man and woman, generalizing the application to all believing men 
and women since the sun set on the Day of the Ghadir. 

Once v Umer was asked: "Your conduct with v Ali is quite different from that of any other 
companion of the Prophet (pbuh)." 'Umer responded by saying: "Why, he is my mawla," as 
stated by Dar Qutni on page 36 of Al-Sawa^iq al-Muhriqa. He thus admitted that "Ali was 
his master, and he (Ali) had not been chosen to be a caliph yet, nor had he yet received the 
oath of allegiance from anyone. Consider how his CUmer's) statement proved that v Ali was 
his mawla and the mawla of every believing man and woman right then, not by virtue of 
futurity, since the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his progeny, on behalf of the 
Almighty Allah, conveyed the same on the Ghadir Day. v Umer once asked v Ali to arbitrate 
in a case brought forth before him involving two bedouins disputants. One of them asked: 
"Is this man CAli) to judge between us?" 'Umer immediately leaped in rage, took the man 
by the neck and said to him: "Woe unto you! Do you know who this man is? He is 
your mawla, my mawla, and the mawla of all believers; whoever rejects him as the mawla is 
certainly not a Muslim," as stated near the conclusion of Chapter 11 of Ibn Hajar'sA/- 
Sawa"iq al-Muhriqa. Those who have recorded this incident are quite a few. 

You, may Allah support the truth through your person, are aware of the fact that had the 
philosophy of Ibn Hajar and his supporters regarding the Ghadir hadith been accepted, the 
Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his progeny, would have been proven to be 
tampering with his own mission and responsibility - we seek refuge with Allah against 
thinking in such a manner - hallucinating in his speeches and deeds - Allah is above letting 
His Messenger do that - without having, according to such a philosophy, any purpose in that 
awesome situation other than making an announcement that after 'Ali had been elected as 
caliph, he would be most fit for it, and that, the theory goes on, nobody should monopolize 
it, for v Ali and all other companions, and Muslims in general, are in that respect equal. What 
characteristic did the Prophet, peace be upon him and his progeny, intend then and there to 
attribute to 'Ali, and v Ali alone, from among all others who are well known for their history 
in serving Islam, if such philosophy, O Muslims, is proven accurate? 

As regarding their claim that had 'Ali's priority regarding the Imamate not been futuristic, 
he would have become then thelmam in spite of the presence of the Messenger of Allah, 
peace be upon him and his progeny, we say that such a claim is indeed quite odd; it is the 
watering down of the truth, an unmatched misrepresentation which ignores the covenants of 
all prophets, caliphs, kings and princes to their successors. It overlooks the meaning of the 
hadith: "You to me are like Aaron to Moses except there will be no prophet after me." It is 
an attempt to forget his statement, peace be upon him and his progeny, in the hadith relevant 
to his kin when he warned them saying, "Therefore, listen to him [to 'Ali] and obey him," 
and to other numerous texts in this meaning. Even if we suppose that due to the presence of 
the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his progeny, "Ali's priority of the imamate 
could not be effective immediately, then obviously it had to be effective after his demise, 
following the unanimously accepted rule of interpreting a statement the absolute truth of 
which is unattainable by its closest meanings. As regarding the honour of the good 
ancestors, it is safeguarded without forcing such an interpretation as we will explain if 
necessary, Wassalam. 



Sayyid 'Abd al-Husayn Sharaf al-Din al-Musawi 



Al-Muraja'at 185 
Shi'i-Sunni dialogue 



Sincerely, 

5/7 



f 1 1 This is quoted by Dar Qutni, as indicated near the conclusion of Section 5, Chapter One, 
of Al-SawaHq al-Muhriqaby Ibn Hajar; so, refer to page 26. It is also narrated by many 
traditionists, each from his own source, and in their own books of traditions. Ahmed has 
quoted something similar from v Umer of the ahadith narrated by al-Bara' ibn v Azib on page 
281, Vol. 4, of his Musnad, which we have already quoted in Letter No. 54 above. 



Letter 61 

Requesting Texts Narrated by ShTa Sources 



Safar 1, 1330 

As long as the honour and dignity of the good ancestors are protected, then there is 
nothing wrong with considering all the ahadith regarding the Imam (as), the ones to 
which you have referred, including hadith al Ghadir or any other one, without the 
need for an interpretation. You may also know other ahadith relevant to this subject 
with which the Sunnis are not familiar; so, may I request you to narrate them so 
that we may acquaint ourselves therewith? Wasslam. 

Sincerely, 

S 



Letter 62 

Forty Ahadith 

Safar 2, 1330 

Yes, we will narrate to you consecutively reported ahadith with which the Sunnis are not 
familiar. These are narrated by members of the purified progeny of Muhammad (pbuh), of 
which we relate forty: \ 11 

1) Al Saduq Muhammad ibn 'Ali ibn al Husayn ibn Babawayh alQummi has included in his 
Sayyid 'Abd al-Husayn Sharaf al-Din al-Musawi 



Al-Muraja'at 186 
Shi'i-Sunni dialogue 

book Ikmal ad Din wa Itmam alNPmah, as transmitted by "Abdul Rahman ibn Samrah, one 
particular hadith in which the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his progeny, 
addresses "Abdul Rahman thus: "O Abu Samrah! If views differ and opinions vary, then 
refer to "Ali ibn Abu Talib, for he is my nation's Imam, and my successor over them after 
me." 

2) In the same reference, i.e. the Ikmal, al Saduq quotes Ibn "Abbas narrating one hadith in 
which the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his progeny, says: "Allah, the Praised 
One and the Sublime, cast a scrutinizing look at the inhabitants of the earth and chose me 
from among them to be the Prophet, then he cast another look and chose "Ali as the Imam 
and commanded me to take him as my brother, and appoint him as the wali and vizier." 

3) Al Saduq, also in the Ikmal, traces one hadith to Imam alSadiq (as) who quotes his father 
and ancestors citing the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his progeny, saying: 
"Gabriel has told me that the Lord of Power, exalted is His Greatness, has said: "Whoever 
comes to know that I am the Lord without any partner, and that Muhammad is my Servant 
and Messenger, that Ali ibn Abu Talib is Muhammad's successor, and that the Imams from 
his descendants are My Arguments, then I would let him enter Paradise through My 
Mercy.'" 

4) Al Saduq, also in his Ikmal, traces another hadith to Imam alSadiq (as) who quotes his 
father and grandfather citing the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his progeny, 
saying: "The Imams after me are twelve: The first is "Ali and the last is al Qa'im [al Mahdi]; 
they are my successors and the executors of my will." 

5) Al Saduq, also in his Ikmal, traces yet another hadith to alAsbagh ibn Nabatah who says 
that the Commander of the Faithful "Ali ibn Abu Talib (as) once approached, his hand in the 
hand of his son al Hasan, and said: "The Messenger of Allah once came to us and his hand 
was in mine like this, saying: "The best of creation after me, and their master, is this brother 
of mine who is the Imam of every Muslim, the prince of every believer after me.'" 

6) Al Saduq, also in his Ikmal, tracing one hadith to Imam al Rida (as) who quotes his 
forefathers citing the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his progeny, saying: 
"Whoever likes to uphold my religion and embark upon the Ark of Salvation after me, let 
him follow the example of "Ali ibn Abu Talib, for he is the executor of my will, and my 
vicegerent over my nation during my lifetime and after my demise." 

7) Al Saduq, also in his Ikmal, attributes another hadith by the Messenger of Allah, peace be 
upon him and his progeny, to Imam al Rida (as) who quotes his ancestors stating that the 
Prophet (pbuh) once said: "I and "Ali are the fathers of this nation; whoever knows us very 
well also knows Allah, and whoever denies us also denies Allah, the Unique, the Mighty. 
And from "Ali's descendants are my grandsons al Hasan and alHusayn, who are the masters 
of the youths of Paradise, and from al Husayn's descendants shall be nine: whoever obeys 
them obeys me, and whoever disobeys them also disobeys me; the ninth among them is 
their Qa'im and Mahdi." 

8) Al Saduq, also in his Ikmal, traces another hadith through/snarf to Imam al Hasan al 
"Askari (as) who quotes his ancestors up to the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and 
his progeny, addressing Ibn Mas"ud thus: "O Ibn Mas"ud! "Ali ibn Abu Talib is your Imam 



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Al-Muraja'at 187 
Shi'i-Sunni dialogue 



after me; he is my successor over you." 



9) Quoting one hadith related by Salman, al Saduq, also in hislkmal, says that once Salman 
visited the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his progeny, and found al Husayn 
ibn v Ali (as) sitting on his lap, and the prophet was kissing him and saying: "You are a 
master, son of a master, an Imam and son of an Imam, brother of an Imam, father of Imams, 
and you are Allah's Argument, the son of His Argument (Hujjah), and father of nine 
Arguments from your loins, the ninth of them is their Qa'im." 

10) Al Saduq, also in his Ikmal, quotes another hadith traced also to Salman who quotes a 
lengthy hadith by the Messenger of Allah in which he (pbuh) says: "O Fatima! Have you 
not come to know that we are Ahl al Bayt? Allah has made the Hereafter dearer to us than 
this life, and Allah the Exalted, Praised is His Name, cast a look at the inhabitants of the 
earth and chose me from among His creation; then he cast a second look and chose your 
husband and inspired me to marry you to him and take him as wali and vizier, and to make 
him my successor over my nation. So, your father is the best of prophets, your husband is 
the best of wasis, and you are the first to join me." 

1 1) Al Saduq, also in his Ikmal, quotes a lengthy hadith and mentions in it that a meeting of 
over two hundred men from the Muhajirun (Meccan Immigrants) and the Ansar (Medenite 
Supporters) were seeking knowledge and studying jurisprudence, and that each one of them 
started bragging about himself, while 'Ali (as) remained silent. They asked him: "O father 
of al Hasan, what stops you from saying something?" In response to their question, he (as) 
only reminded them of a statement made by the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) in which he 
said: '"Ali is my brother, vizier, heir, executor of my will, successor over my nation, and 
the wali of every believer after me; so, admit all of this about him." 

12) Al Saduq, also in his Ikmal, quotes a lengthy hadith narrated by 'Abdullah ibn Ja'fer, al 
Hasan, al Husayn, 'Abdulllah ibn 'Abbas, 'Umer ibn Abu Salamah, Usamah ibn Ziyad, 
Salman, Abu Tharr al-Ghifari, and al Miqdad who all say that they heard the Messenger of 
Allah (pbuh) saying: "I have more authority over the believers than the believers themselves 
have; my brother v Ali has after me more authority over the believers than the believers 
themselves have." 

13) Al Saduq, also in his Ikmal ad-Din wa Itmam al-NVmah, quotes al Asbagh ibn Nabatah 
who cites Ibn 'Abbas saying that he heard the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and 
his progeny, saying, "I, 'Ali, al Hasan, al Husayn, and nine from the progeny of Husayn are 
Purified." 

14) Al Saduq has also quoted in his Ikmal Ibn Abayah ibn Rab'i citing Ibn 'Abbas saying 
that the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his progeny, has said: "I am the master 
of the Prophets, while 'Ali is the master of the wasis." 

15) Al Saduq has also quoted in his Ikmal one hadith transmitted by Imam al Sadiq (as) 
through isnad stating that the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) has said: "Allah, the Exalted, the 
Almighty, favoured me over all other prophets, and favoured 'Ali over all other wasis, and 
favoured from 'Ali's descendants al Hasan and al Husayn, and chose from al Husayn's 
progeny the wasis who safeguard the faith against the distortion of extermists, the 



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Al-Muraja'at 188 
Shi'i-Sunni dialogue 

adulteration of liars, and the misinterpretations of those who have strayed." 

16) Al Saduq, also in his Ikmal, has quoted "Ali (as) citing the Messenger of Allah, peace be 
upon him and his progeny, saying: "The Imams after me are twelve: the first of them is " Ali, 
and the last is al Qa'im through whom Allah, the Exalted and the Mighty, shall open the east 
of the earth as well as the west. "[2_1 

17) Al Saduq has also quoted in his Amali a lengthy hadith narrated by 'Ali (as) in which 
the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his progeny, says, ""Ali is of me, and I am 
of "AH who is created of my own mould; he solves people's disputes regarding my Sunnah; 
he is the Commander of the Faithful, the leader of the foremost among all men, and the best 
of wasis." 

18) Al Saduq, also in his Amali, has quoted another lengthy hadith reported by 'Ali (as) in 
which the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his progeny, says: '"Ali is the 
Commander of the Faithful according to the Wilayat of Allah, the Exalted and the Mighty, 
which He tied in a knot upon His Throne and required the angels to witness; "Ali is Allah's 
Vicegerent and Proof [Hujjatullah]; he is the Imam of the Muslims." 

19) Al Saduq, also in his Amali, has quoted Ibn 'Abbas relating that the Messenger of Allah, 
peace be upon him and his progeny, has said: "O "Ali! You are the Imam of the Muslims, 
the Commander of the Faithful, the leader of the foremost renown of all men, Allah's Proof 
after me, and the master of all wasis." 

20) Al Saduq, also in his Amali, has cited Ibn "Abbas quoting the Messenger of Allah 
(pbuh) saying: "O "Ali! You are my successor over my nation, and you are to me like Seth 
to Adam." 

21) Al Saduq, also in his Amali, has quoted Abu Tharr al Ghifari saying, ""We were once in 
the company of the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) at his mosque when he said: "A man will 
enter through this door who is the Commander of the Faithful and the Imam of the 
Muslims,' whereupon "Ali ibn Abu Talib came in, and the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) 
welcomed him, turned his glorious face to us and said: "This is your Imam after me.'" 

22) In his Amali, al Saduq has cited Jabir ibn "Abdullah al Ansari quoting the Messenger of 
Allah (pbuh) saying: ""Ali ibn Abu Talib is the foremost among them in accepting Islam, 
and he is the most learned... He is the Imam and successor after me." 

23) In his Amali, al Saduq has also quoted one hadith correct through isnad related by Ibn 
"Abbas who quotes the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) saying: "O people! Whose words are 
better than Allah's? Your Lord, Mighty is His Grace, has commanded me to assign "Ali over 
you as the most outstanding Imam, as my own successor and executor of my will, and that 
you should regard him as my brother and vizier." 

24) In his Amali, al Saduq also quotes one hadith correct through isnad narrated by Abu 
"Ayyash who says: "The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) once ascended the pulpit and delivered 
a sermon in which he said: "My cousin "Ali is also my brother, vizier, successor, and the 
one who pays my dues on my own behalf.'" \3^ 



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Al-Muraja'at 189 
Shi'i-Sunni dialogue 

25) In his Amali, al Saduq has also quoted one hadith correct through isnad reported by the 
Commander of the Faithful who says: "Once, the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) delivered a 
sermon in which he said: O people! The month of Allah has approached,' and he continued 
his sermon recounting the attributes of the month of Ramadan. I asked: O Messenger of 
Allah! What is the best of deeds in this month?' He replied: 'It is staying away from 
whatever Allah has forbidden you,' then he burst weeping, so I inquired: 'What grieves you, 

Messenger of Allah?' and he answered: v O 'Ali! I am grieving at what horrible forbidden 
things that will happen to you in the same month,' adding, 'You are my wasi, the father of 
my descendants, and my successor over my nation during my lifetime and after my death; 
your bidding is as good as mine, and so is your forbidding.'" 

26) In his Amali, al Saduq has quoted another hadith narrated by 'Ali, peace be upon him, 
thus: "The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) has said: 'O 'Ali! You are my brother and I am yours; 

1 have been chosen to be the Prophet while you have been chosen to be the Imam; I take 
charge of the revelation [of the Holy Qur'an] while you take charge of its implementation; 
you are the father of this nation. O 'Ali! You are my wasi and vicegerent, my vizier and 
heir, and the father of my offspring.'" 

27) In his Amali, al Saduq has also quoted one hadith the isnadof which is authentic as 
transmitted by Ibn 'Abbas who says: "While the Ansar were assembling at Quba' Mosque, 
the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said: 'O 'Ali! You are my brother and I am yours; you are 
the executor of my will and my own successor, and the Imam of my nation after me: Allah 
will assist whoever assists you, and He will be the enemy of whoever antagonizes you.'" 

28) In his Amali, al Saduq has also quoted a lengthy hadith narrated by Ummu Salamah in 
which the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) addresses her thus: "O Ummu Salamah! Listen and 
bear witness: This 'Ali ibn Abu Tlib is the executor of my will; he is my successor, the one 
who tries my enemies, and the one who safeguards my Pool [of al Kawthar]." 

29) In his Amali, al Saduq has also quoted Salman al-Farisi saying, "I have heard the 
Messenger of Allah (pbuh) saying: 'O Muhajirun and Ansar! Shall I lead you to that which, 
as long as you adhere to, shall never let you stray after me?' They said: 'O yes, Messenger 
of Allah!' He (pbuh) said: 'This 'Ali is my brother and the executor of my will, my vizier, 
heir and successor; he is your Imam; therefore, love him as much as I love him, and respect 
him as much as I respect him, for Gabriel has enjoined me to say so to you.'" 

30) In his Amali, al Saduq has also quoted through isnad one hadith related by Zayd ibn 
Arqam in which the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) is quoted saying: "Shall I lead you to that 
which, as long as you adhere to, will protect you against annihilation and straying? Your 
Imam and wall is 'Ali ibn Abu Talib (as); therefore, do support him, listen to his counsel, 
and believe in him, for Gabriel has ordered me to say so to you." 

31) In his Amali, al Saduq has quoted Ibn 'Abbas relating one hadith in which the 
Messenger of Allah (pbuh) says: "Allah, the Praised, the Sublime, has inspired to me: 'I 
have selected from your nation a brother and heir for you, a successor and executor of your 
will.' I inquired: 'O Lord! Who is he?' He replied: 'It is he who loves me and I love him...,' 
till He said in His divine statement: 'It is 'Ali ibn Abu Talib.'" 

32) In his Amali, al Saduq has quoted Ibn 'Abbas citing another hadith related by his 



Sayyid 'Abd al-Husayn Sharaf al-Din al-Musawi 



Al-Muraja'at 190 
Shi'i-Sunni dialogue 

ancestors in which the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) says: "During my isra' (night journey), 
my Lord, Exalted is His Might, promised me that " Ali is the Imam of the pious, the leader of 
the foremost among renown men, the religion's chief." 

34) In his Amali, al Saduq has quoted one hadith through isnadto Imam al Rida (as) who 
quotes his ancestors citing the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) saying: ""Ali is of me, and I am of 
"Ali; may Allah wage war against those who fight "Ali; "Ali, indeed, is the Imam of creation 
after me." 

35) Abu Ja"fer Muhammad ibn al Hasan al Tusi, the sect'sshaykh, in his Amal quotes one 
hadith narrated by "Ammar ibn Yasir in which the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) is quoted 
telling "Ali, "Allah has decorated you in a way that is most dear to Him: through asceticism 
to the extent that you do not feel deprived of any of this life's pleasures, and none of them 
feels deprived of you, and He has endowed you with the love for the destitute, making their 
fellowship welcomed by you, and they welcome you as their Imam; therefore, 
congratulations to whoever loves you and believes in you, and woe unto whoever hates you 
and tells lies about you." 

36) In his Amali, Shaykh al Saduq has also quoted one hadith through isnad to "Ali (as) who 
has said while preaching from Kufa's pulpit: "O people! The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) 
granted me ten attributes that are dearer to me than anything upon which the sun shines: He 
(pbuh) has said to me: "0 "Ali! You are my brother in this life and the life hereafter, and 
you are the closest to me among all creation on the Day of Resurrection; your residence in 
Paradise faces mine; you are my heir, the executor of my will after me, faring with both my 
foes and family; you protect my family on my own behalf during my absence; you are my 
nation's Imam; you execute justice among my followers; you are my friend, and my friend 
is the friend of Allah; your enemy is my enemy, and my enemy is surely the enemy of 
Allah.'" 

37) In al Saduq's book titled Al-Nusus ^ala al-A'Imma, which contains texts relevant to the 
Imams, al Hasan ibn "Ali (as) is quoted saying: "I have heard the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) 
say the following to my father: "And you are the inheritor of my knowledge, the substance 
of my own judgment, and the Imam after me.'" 

38) Also in his work containing texts about the Imams, al Saduq quotes "Umran ibn Hasin 
saying: "I have heard the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) say to "Ali, "You are the Imam and 
successor after me.'" 

39) Also in his same work, al Saduq quotes "Ali (as) citing the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) 
saying to him: "O "Ali! You are thewasi over those who have died among my household, 
and the caliph of those who are alive among my nation." 

40) Also in the same reference cited above, al Saduq quotes alHusayn ibn "Ali (as) saying: 
"When Allah revealed the verse: "And those who are kin of each other are more worthy of 
each other in the Book of Allah,' I asked the Messenger of Allah to interpret it, and he said: 
"You are the kin; when I die, your father "Ali is the most worthy of me and my station; 
when your father dies, your brother al Hasan is most worthy of it; and if alHasan dies, then 
you are most worthy of his station.'" 



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Al-Muraja'at 191 
Shi'i-Sunni dialogue 

This is the conclusion of what we wanted to quote in such a hurry. Its ratio to the remainder 
of the texts is like that of one bouquet to the remainder of all flowers, or the drop of water to 
the ocean; yet a portion should suffice; praise be to the Lord of the worlds, Wassalam. 

Sincerely, 

5/7 



JJJThis much suffices due to the fact that we have narrated quite a few ahadith from 
sources such as the Commander of the Faithful 'Ali ibn Abu Talib (as), 'Abdullah ibn 
'Abbas, 'Abdullah ibn Mas'ud, 'Abdullah ibn 'Umer, Abu Sa'id al-Khudri, Abul-Darda', 
Abu Hurayrah, Anas ibn Malik, Ma'ath ibn Jabal, quoting various sources, all stating that 
the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his progeny, has said: "Whoever teaches my 
nation forty ahadith related to its faith, Allah will resurrect him on the Day of Judgment in 
the company of the faqihs and the learned." In another wording of the same hadith, "Allah 
will resurrect him as a learned faqih." According to Abul-Darda', the statement reads: "I will 
include him in my intercession on the Day of Judgment, and he shall be a witness." 
According to Ibn Mas'ud, "It will be said to him: 'Enter Paradise from whichever gate you 
please.'" According to Ibn 'Umer's narration, "... he will be included with the men of 
knowledge, and be resurrected in the company of martyrs." Suffices us in learning these 
forty ahadith and others included in all our Letters his statement, peace be upon him and his 
progeny, "Allah will look after whoever listens to my statement, comprehends it and 
conveys it just as he heard it." And also his hadith: "Let those of you who witness [my 
Sunnah] convey it to those who are absent." 

[21 This hadith and the ones before it exist in a chapter containing what has been narrated 
about the Prophet (pbuh) regarding the Qa'im, and that he is the twelfth in the line of 
Imams; it is Chapter Twenty-Four of Ikmal ad-Din wa Itmam al-NVmah, pages 149-167. 

[31 This hadith, together with the four preceding it, is quoted from al-Saduq's Ghayat al- 
Maram. These are quite lengthy, and we have quoted from them whatever testifies to our 
argument. As regarding the ahadith which succeed it, they are to be found in Chapter 13 
of Ghayat al-Maram. 



Letter 63 

I ShPa Texts Rejected as Testimonials, 

II Why Have Others Refrained from Quoting Them? 

II Why Have Others Refrained from Quoting Them? 

Ill Asking for More Texts. 



Safar 3, 1330 

1) As long as these texts are not quoted by non Shi' as, Sunnis are not bound to accept them 



Sayyid 'Abd al-Husayn Sharaf al-Din al-Musawi 



Al-Muraja'at 192 
Shi'i-Sunni dialogue 



as testimonials. 

2) Had they been verified, why has nobody else quoted them? 

3) Let us refer only to the hadith narrated by Sunnis in this regard, Wassalam. 
Sincerely, 

5 



Letter 64 

I Above Texts were Quoted upon Request, 
II Sahihs are Proofs against the Majority, 
Not Quoted Because of Their Existence in Our Own Sahihs. 



Safar 4, 1330 

1) We have cited those texts in order to acquaint you with them and in response to your own 
request. 

2) Our own testimonial against your argument is what we have already quoted from your 
own sahihs. 

3) The reason why those texts were not included is due to the prejudice, with which we are 
familiar, of those who concealed their grudge, and hid their animosity, from the party of 
Pharaoh during the early epoch of Islam, worshippers of authority and domination who 
spent everything they possessed of might and means to hide the contributions of Ahl al Bayt 
and put out their light in every land. They forced people to deny their feats and attributes 
through means and methods of both tempting and terrorizing, through their wealth once, and 
through their positions and political stature another. They bestowed their favours upon those 
who denied these merits, dismissing, banishing or even murdering those who believed in 
them. 

You know that the texts related to the imamate, and the promises of caliphate, are held with 
apprehension by those who fear that such texts may jeopardize their thrones or undermine 
the very foundations of their governments. The safety of these texts against the tampering of 
such people, of that of their followers and flatterers, and their ability to reach us through 
many sources and methods, is, indeed, a miracle testifying to their own truth. This is so due 
to the fact that those who denied the status of Ahl al Bayt, usurped the positions rightly and 
divinely assigned to them, used to incur the worst punishment upon anyone who showed 



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Al-Muraja'at 193 
Shi'i-Sunni dialogue 

love for Ahl al Bayt. They would shave his beard, convey him on the back of a donkey and 
tour the market places, humiliating him, beating him and depriving him of even the most 
simple and basic human right, till he would lose all hope for justice from those rulers and 
despond of having friends in the community.JJJ So, if anyone spoke well of v Ali (as), he 
would be disowned, and retribution would fall upon him; therefore, his possessions would 
be confiscated, and he would be executed. How many tongues praising v Ali were cut off? 
How many eyes which looked at him with respect were gouged? How many hands which 
pointed out to him were amputated? How many feet which walked towards him 
affectionately were sawed? How many homes of his followers were burnt? And how many 
of their families were banished...? 

Among the narrators of hadith and "protectors of the legacy" were people who worshipped 
those monarchs and tyrants as well as their rulers other than worshipping Allah, the Exalted, 
the Sublime, and they sought nearness to them with all their resources of scholarship, thus 
distorting, testifying for the authenticity of this or against the authenticity of that, just like 
many whom we see these days of flatterers among shaykhs, hired scholars, bad judges who 
race to please the rulers by endorsing their policies, be they just or unjust, calling their 
edicts correct, be they truly correct or corrupt; so, the ruler does not even have to ask them 
for a verdict in support of his regime or to indict his opponents, for they do so according to 
his own wish and according to the requirements of his policy, even if this means opposing 
the Book and the Sunnah, thus violating the nation's consensus, out of their own eagerness 
to safeguard their positions, or due to their coveting of a position they aspire to acquire. 
What a distance separates these from those! The latter did not value their governments, 
while the others needed their monarchs so badly, since they would use them to fight Allah 
and His Messenger. For this reason, they enjoyed with the monarchs and rulers a special 
lofty status, and their word was heeded; therefore, they commanded authority and prestige, 
and they were fanatical against the accurate ahadith if the latter pointed out to an attribute of 
"Ali (as) or of other members of the household of Prophethood; so, they would reject it 
strongly, dropping it violently, attributing to its narrators Rafidism - and Rafidism is the 
worst vice according in their judgment. This is their policy towards the traditions lauding 
"Ali, especially if they are held in high esteem by the Shi" as. 

As regarding the flatterers, these have had friends in the specially high class in every land; 
they would speak highly of them, and they have for followers secular scholars who would 
publicize their views, from among those who make a show of asceticism and piety, among 
the leaders and tribal chiefs. When the latter hear what they say regarding rejecting those 
authentic ahadith, they would hold their statements as gospel revealed and would publicize 
them among the commoners and the ignorant, thus making them well known in every land 
and using them as principles upheld in every time. There is another group of people who 
were custodians of hadith in those days, and who were forced by fear to overlook the 
ahadith praising "Ali and Ahl al Bayt (as). If those poor folks were asked about what those 
flatterers were saying regarding rejecting the accurates unan containing "Ali's contributions 
and those of Ahl al Bayt (as), they would fear, if they told the general public of what they 
knew, that a blind, deaf and dumb dissension might occur. They were, therefore, forced out 
of fear to seek shelter by sidetracking the subject for fear of being rebuked by the flatterers 
and those who publicize for them, and for fear of those who repeat their words like parrots 
from among the populace and ignorant commoners. 

Kings and rulers ordered people to denounce the Commander of the Faithful. They 



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Al-Muraja'at 194 
Shi'i-Sunni dialogue 

pressured them to do so once by tempting them with money, and once by threatening them 
with their armies and dreadful promises of retribution, thus forcing them to belittle him and 
his lineage, so much so that they painted a disgusting picture of him in their books and 
narrated ahadith whereby ears feel offended, making the cursing of his name from the 
pulpits a tradition followed by the Muslims during both v Iids and on Fridays. The Light of 
Allah cannot be put out, and the contributions of His walls cannot be hidden; otherwise, 
those traditions would not have reached us through the sources of both groups, accurately 
and explicitly implying his caliphate. No texts are more consecutively reported than the 
texts in his praise, and I, by Allah, wonder about the favours which He has bestowed upon 
'Ali ibn Abu Talib, His servant and the brother of His Messenger, how his light pierced 
through the clouds, the pitch of darkness, and survived the tumultuous waves, letting its ray 
shine on the world like midday sun! 

4) You may refer, in addition to all the irrefutable proofs you have heard, to the text of 
inheritance, for it by itself is an irrefutable proof, Wassalam. 

Sincerely, 

5/7 



fJJ Refer to page 15, Vol. 3, of Shark Nahjul Balaghah by Ibn Abul-Hadid, and you will 
find out what atrocities befell Ahl al-Bayt (as) and their Shfahs in those days. Imam al- 
Baqir (as) has made a statement in this regard to which we refer the researchers. 



Letter 65 

Requesting the Ahadith Relevant to the Inheritance 

Safar 5, 1330 

Please narrate to us the hadith of inheritance as transmitted by Sunnis, Wassalam. 

Sincerely, 

S 

Letter 66 

x Ali is the Prophet's Heir 



Sayyid 'Abd al-Husayn Sharaf al-Din al-Musawi 



Al-Muraja'at 195 
Shi'i-Sunni dialogue 



Safar 5, 1330 

There is no doubt that the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his progeny, has left 
'Ali with a legacy of knowledge and wisdom as much as the Almighty permitted His prophets 
and wasis to inherit, so much so that the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) has said: "I am the city of 
knowledge and Ali is its gate; therefore, whoever wishes to attain knowledge, let him 
approach through the gate.'Tll 

He, peace be upon him and his progeny, has said: "I am the storehouse of wisdom, and 'Ali is 
its door... 'Ali is the gateway of my knowledge, the one who explains after me the Message 
with which I have been sent; loving him is indicative of genuine faith, and hating him is 
hypocrisy." According to Zayd ibn Abu 'Awfah, he, peace be upon him and his progeny, has 
addressed 'Ali thus: "You are my brother and heir; "[21 whereupon 'Ali inquired: "And what 
will you bequeath unto me?" He, peace be upon him and his progeny, answered: "Whatever 
Prophets before me used to bequeath." In another hadith, he, peace be upon him and his 
progeny, according to Buraydah, has said: "The heir of my knowledge is 'Ali. "[31 Refer also 
to the hadith on the day of warning. During the lifetime of the Messenger of Allah, peace be 
upon him and his progeny, 'Ali (as) used to say: "By Allah, I am his brother, successor and 
cousin, and the heir of his knowledge; so, who is more worthy of all this other than 
myself? "[41 

Once 'Ali was asked: "How did you come to inherit your cousin rather than your uncle?" He 
answered: "The Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his progeny, gathered the 
descendants of 'Abdul Muttalib, who were quite a few, and each one of them had such an 
appetite that would consider tree trunks edible and would drink water though not potable, and 
he prepared for them a mudd of food (a dry measure approximately Tangier 46.61, about one 
and three quarters of a pound); yet they all ate till they were satisfied, while the food looked 
as if it was not touched. Then he, peace be upon him and his progeny, said: 'O descendants of 
'Abdul Muttalib! I have been sent to you in particular, and to all people in general; so, who 
among you pledges to be my brother, friend and heir?' Nobody stood; so, I stood, though the 
youngest among the attendants, but he (pbuh) told me to sit. He repeated his statement twice, 
and each time, I was the only one who stood up, and every time he would tell me to sit. On 
the third time, he shook hands with me; thus did I come to inherit my cousin instead of my 
uncle.'"[51 

According to al Hakim's Al-Mustadrak,[&l and to al Thahbi'sTalkhis, who both testify to its 
authenticity, Qatham ibn al' Abbas was asked once: "How did 'Ali come to inherit the 
Messenger of Allah (pbuh) rather than your own selves?" He answered: "It is so due to his 
being the foremost among us in following him, and in keeping company with him more than 
anyone of us." 

It was well known that 'Ali, rather than his uncle al 'Abbas or any descendant of Hashim, 
was the heir of the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his progeny. They accepted 
that as a fact, though they were informed of the reason why such inheritance was confined to 
'Ali alone, who was the Prophet's cousin, rather than to al 'Abbas, his uncle, or to any other 
uncle or relative of the Prophet, peace be upon him and his progeny. For this reason, they 
used to ask 'Ali (as) once and once Qatham, and the latter used to answer them as stated 



Sayyid 'Abd al-Husayn Sharaf al-Din al-Musawi 



Al-Muraja'at 196 
Shi'i-Sunni dialogue 

above in a way that is satisfactory to the understanding of those inquirers. Otherwise, the 
answer would be that Allah, the Exalted and omni Scient, looked upon the people of the earth 
and chose from among them Muhammad (pbuh) and elevated him to be the Prophet, then He 
cast another look and selected v Ali and inspired to His Messenger, peace be upon him and his 
progeny, to take him as his heir and successor. 

On page 125, Vol. 3, of Al-Mustadrak, al Hakim, having quoted Qatham stating the above, 
says: "The judge of judges [supreme judge, or grand mufti], Abul-Hasan Muhammad ibn 
Salih al Hashimi, has told me that he once heard Abu 'Umer the judge saying: V I heard 
Isma'il ibn Ishaq the judge, having been informed of what Qatham had said, saying that a 
man inherits another through either a blood relationship or sincere loyalty, and men of 
knowledge do not dispute the fact that [under normal circumstances] a cousin does not 
become the heir while the uncle [his father] is still alive.' According to such consensus, v Ali 
inherited the Prophet's knowledge rather than they." As a matter of fact, chroniclers are 
sequential in narrating such a fact, especially through the sources of the purified progeny, and 
suffices us for proof is the Will and its clear texts, Wassalam. 

Sincerely, 

Sh 



[11 We have quoted this hadith and the couple before it in Letter No. 48 above. Refer in that 
Letter to ahadith number 9, 10 and 11, and do not overlook our comments. 

[21 We have quoted the said hadith in Letter No. 32. 

[31 Refer to it in Letter No. 68 above. 

[41 This statement verbatim is confirmed as being v Ali's. It is quoted by al-Hakim on page 
126, Vol. 3, of his Al-Mustadrakthiough a narration endorsed by al-Bukhari and Muslim. Al- 
Thahbi, in his Talkhis al-Mustadrak, has admitted the same. 

[51 This hadith stands on firm grounds, and it is a lengthy one. It has been quoted by al-Diya' 
al-Maqdisi in his Al-Mukhtara, and by Ibn Jarir in his Tahthib al-Athar. It is hadith number 
6155 on page 408, Vol. 6, of Kanz al-^Ummal. It is also quoted by al-Nisa'i on page 18 of 
his Al-Khasa 'is al-^Alawiyya, and it is transmitted by Ibn Abul-Hadid from al- 
Tabari's Tarikh near the end of the commentary on the "qasVa" sermon, page 255, Vol. 3, 
of Shark Nahjul Balaghah. Refer also to page 159, Vol. 1, of Imam Ahmed ibn 
Hanbal's Musnad where you will find the same hadith conveying this meaning. 

[61 It occurs on page 125 of its third volume. It is also quoted by Ibn Abu Shaybah, and it is 
hadith number 6084 on page 400, Vol. 6, of Kanz al-^Ummal. 



Letter 67 

Where is the Prophet's Will? 



Sayyid 'Abd al-Husayn Sharaf al-Din al-Musawi 



Al-Muraja'at 197 
Shi'i-Sunni dialogue 



Safar 6, 1330 

Sunnis are not familiar with any will left for v Ali, nor are they acquainted with any 
of its contents; so, please oblige and tell us its story, Wassalam. 

Sincerely, 

S 



Letter 68 

The Will's Texts 

Safar 9, 1330 

1) The texts regarding the will are consecutively reported through the Imams of the purified 
progeny (as); so, refer to what has been stated in this regard by others as mentioned in Letter 
No. 20 that quotes the statements of the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his 
progeny, who took 'Ali (as) by the neck and said: "This is my brother and successor; he shall 
succeed me in faring with you; therefore, listen to him and obey him." 

Muhammad ibn Hamid al Razi quotes Salamah al Abrash, Ibn Ishaq, Abu Rabi'ah al Ayadi, 
Ibn Buraydah, ending with the latter's father Buraydah citing the Messenger of Allah, peace 
be upon him and his progeny, saying: "For every Prophet there is a successor and an heir; my 
successor and heir is v Ali ibn Abu Talib."JT[In his Kabir, and through isnad to Salman al- 
Farisi, al Tabrani quotes the latter citing the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his 
progeny, saying: "My successor, my confidant, the best man I leave behind me to fulfill my 
promise and implement my religion, is 'Ali ibn Abu Talib (as). "[21 This is a clear text 
proving that he is the successor, and an obvious testimony that he is the best of people after 
the Prophet (pbuh). It contains an obligatory instruction that he should succeed him, and that 
people should obey him, as is clear to the wise. 

Abu Na v im al Hafiz, in his Hilyat al Awliya ',[31 quotes Anas saying that the Messenger of 
Allah, peace be upon him and his progeny, said to him: "O Anas! The first to enter this door 
is the Imam of the pious, the leader of Muslims, the chief of religion, the seal of successors 
of prophets, and the leader of the most pious among renown men." Anas says that v Ali came 
in, and the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his progeny, stood up with 
excitement, hugged v Ali and said to him: "You will discharge my responsibility, convey my 
instructions, and explain all that in which they will dispute after me." 

Al Tabrani, in his Al Kabir, quotes Abu Ayyub al Ansari citing the Messenger of Allah, 
peace be upon him and his progeny, saying that the Prophet (pbuh) addressed Fatima once 



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Al-Muraja'at 198 
Shi'i-Sunni dialogue 

thus: "O Fatima! Have you not come to know that Allah, the Dear One, cast a look at the 
inhabitants of the earth and chose your father from among them and sent him as His 
Messenger, then He cast a second look and selected your husband and inspired me to marry 
him to you and appoint him as my successor? "[41 

Notice how Allah selected 'Ali (as) from among all other inhabitants of the earth, 
immediately after selecting from among them the Seal of His Prophets (pbuh), and see how 
the selection of the successor is conducted in the same sequence to the selection of the 
Prophet. Also see how Allah inspired His Prophet to solemnize his marriage and appoint him 
as his successor. See if successors of prophets were any other than the latter's own wasis. Is it 
fitting to push aside [when it comes to selecting a caliph] one who is the best among Allah's 
servants, the wasi of the master of His Prophets, and prefer someone else over him? Is it 
fitting if someone else, other than he, should rule the Muslims and make him simply one of 
his own commoners and subjects? Is it possible, by virtue of reason, that one elected by 
people should be obeyed by that who was selected by Allah, just as He selected His Prophet? 
How is it possible that both Allah Himself and His Messenger choose him while we elect 
someone else? "No believing man nor woman, after Allah and His Messenger have decreed 
an edict, should practice free will regarding their affairs; and whoever disobeys Allah and 
His Messenger surely strays manifestly (33:36)." 

Narratives abound that state that as soon as those who were hypocritical, envious, and 
interest seeking came to know that the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his 
progeny, was going to marry his daughter Fatima al Zahra', mistress of the women of 
paradise and equal only to Mary (as), to 'Ali, they envied 'Ali and were extremely 
concerned, especially after many of them had unsuccessfully sought her hand.JTL They said 
that that was indicative of v Ali's status; so, nobody had any hope of being his peer, and they 
even plotted and schemed. They sent their women to the Mistress of the Women of the 
World trying to turn her against v Ali. Among what they said to her was that 'Ali was poor 
and did not have much of this world's possessions, but she, peace be upon her, was quite 
aware of their scheming and ill intentions as well as those of their men. In spite of all this, 
she did not offend them in any way, till the Will of Allah Almighty and omni Scient and of 
His Messenger was carried out. It was then that she desired to show those women the status 
enjoyed by the Commander of the Faithful (as) whereby Allah will shame his enemies, and 
she said: "O Messenger of Allah! Why did you marry me to a poor man who has no money?" 
He, peace be upon him and his progeny, answered her in the way stated above. 

When Allah wishes to publicize 

A virtue hidden from the eyes, 

He facilitates to it one very well known 

To covet and envy everyone. 

Al Khatib quotes one author whose isnad is unanimously agreed upon, and who is very 
highly respected, namely Ibn "Abbas, saying: "When the Prophet (pbuh) solemnized the 
marriage of Fatima and v Ali, Fatima said: O Messenger of Allah! You have married me to a 
poor man who does not have anything.' The Prophet (pbuh) said to her: 'Are you not pleased 
that Allah has chosen from among the inhabitants of the earth two men one of whom is your 



Sayyid 'Abd al-Husayn Sharaf al-Din al-Musawi 



Al-Muraja'at 199 
Shi'i-Sunni dialogue 

father and the other is your husband?'"[6]Recounting the attributes of v Ali, al Hakim, on page 
129, Vol. 3, of his Al-Mustadrak, quotes Sarij ibn Yunus citing Abu Hafs alAbar, al A" mash, 
Abu Salih, and ending with Abu Hurayrah who quotes Fatima (as) saying: "O Messenger of 
Allah! Why have you married me to a poor man with no money?" He (pbuh) answered: "O 
Fatima! Are you not pleased that Allah, the Exalted and Sublime, cast a look at the 
inhabitants of the earth and chose two men one of whom is your father and the other is your 
husband?" Ibn v Abbas is also quoted saying that the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) has said the 
following to Fatima: "Are you not pleased that I have married you to the one who is the 
foremost among Muslims in accepting Islam and the one endowed with more knowledge? 
You are the Mistress of the women of my nation, just as Mary was the mistress of the women 
of her nation; are you not pleased, O Fatima, that Allah cast a look at the people of the earth 
and chose two men from among them: one of them is your father and the other is your 
husband? "[71 

The Messenger of Allah (pbuh), whenever the Mistress of the women of the world suffered 
any hardship, would remind her of Allah's favour and that of His Messenger unto her, since 
he married her to the best of his nation, thus solacing her and removing from her chest 
whatever pain time had brought her. Suffices you for a testimonial on this subject what Imam 
AHmed has stated on page 26, Vol. 5, of his Musnad where he quotes one particular hadith 
narrated by Ma v qil ibn Yasar in which the Prophet (pbuh) is reported to have visited Fatima 
(as) when she fell sick and said to her: "How do you feel?" She answered: "By Allah, my 
grief has intensified, my want has worsened, and my sickness has lasted for too long." He 
(pbuh) said to her: "Yet are you not satisfied that I have married you to the one who is the 
foremost among my nation in accepting Islam, the one endowed with more knowledge, and 
the greatest in clemency?" Narratives relating this issue are numerous, and there is no room 
to state all of them in this letter, Wassalam. 

Sincerely, 

5/7 



[11 Al-Thahbi has quoted this hadith while discussing the biography of Sharik in his 
book Mizan al-V tidal, falsifying it and alleging that Sharik could not have tolerated narrating 
such a hadith. He said: "Muhammd ibn Hamid al-Razi is not trustworthy." Our answer to his 
allegation is that Imam Ahmed ibn Hanbal, Imam Abul Qasim al-Baghwi, Imam Ibn Jarir al- 
Tabari, the Imam of critics and verifiers Ibn Ma'in, and others of their caliber, have all 
trusted Muhammad ibn Hamid and narrated his hadith, for he is their mentor. A reliable 
authority such as al-Thahbi admits the same in his biography of Muhammd ibn Hamid in 
his Al-Mizan. The man cannot be charged with Rafidism or Shi'ism, but the critic is a 
predecessor of al-Thahbi; so, there is no reason for initiating such an accusation regarding 
this hadith. 

[21 This hadith verbatim is numbered 2570 at the end of page 155, Vol. 6, of Kanz al- 
"Ummal, and the author quotes it again in his Muntakhab al-Kanz; so, refer to Al-Muntakhab, 
footnote on page 32, Vol. 5, of Ahmed's Musnad. 

[3J It exists on page 450, Vol. 2, of Shark Nahjul Balaghah, and we have quoted it in Letter 



Sayyid 'Abd al-Husayn Sharaf al-Din al-Musawi 



Al-Muraja'at 200 
Shi'i-Sunni dialogue 



No. 48. 



[41 This hadith, verbatim, as well as its source are also in hadith number 2541 on page 143, 
Vol. 6, of Kanz al- K Ummal, and it is quoted in Muntakhab al-Kanz as well; so, refer to the 
latter and read the footnote on page 31, Vol. 5, of Ahmed's Musnad. 

[5_LIbn Abu Hatim has quoted Anas saying: "Abu Bakr and v Umer sought Fatima's hand 
from the Prophet, but he remained silent and did not tell them anything; so, they went to v Ali 
to inform him." It is also transmitted from Ibn Abu Hatim by many reliable authorities such 
as Ibn Hajar at the beginning of Chapter 11 of his Al-Sawalq al-Muhriqa. Many other 
authorities have quoted something similar to it from Ahmed through isnad to Anas. Abu 
Dawud al-Sajistani, as stated by Ibn Hajar in Chapter 1 1 of his Al-Sawalq al-Muhriqa, while 
discussing the twelfth verse, says that Abu Bakr sought Fatima's hand, and the Prophet 
(pbuh) turned him down; then v Umer did the same, and he turned away from him, too; so, 
they both informed v Ali of it. 'Ali himself is quoted saying: "Abu Bakr and v Umer sought 
Fatima's hand from the Messenger of Allah, but he (pbuh) rejected them. 'Umer then said: 
v You, v Ali, are worthy of her.'" This hadith is quoted by Ibn Jarir. Al-Dulabi has quoted it, 
admitting its authenticity while discussing the Prophet's purified progeny, and it is hadith 
number 6007 on page 392, Vol. 6, of Kanz al-^Ummal. 

[6J This hadith, verbatim, with reference to its narrator, is hadith number 5992 on page 391, 
Vol. 6, of Kanz al-^Ummal, where the author admits the reliability of its narrator. 

[71 This hadith, verbatim, with reference to its narrator, is hadith number 2543 on page 153, 
Vol. 6, of Kanz al-^Ummal, where the author quotes it from Ibn v Abbas and Abu Hurayrah. 
Al-Tabrani, in his Al-Muttafaq, has transmitted it from al-Khatib who quotes Ibn 'Abbas; so, 
refer to Al-Muntakhab and read the first line of footnote on page 39, Vol. 5, of 
Ahmed' sMusnad. 



Letter 69 

Argument of the Will's Deniers 

Safar 10, 1330 

Those who follow the Sunnah and consensus deny this will simply because of what al 
Bukhari has narrated in his Sahihwhere he quotes al Aswad saying, "It was said once to 
v Ayesha, may Allah be pleased with her, that the Prophet (pbuh) had made a will regarding 
v Ali,[ll and she responded: v Who said so? I have seen the Prophet, while I was reclining him 
to my chest, when he ordered a washbowl to be brought to him; I hardly noticed how fast he 
collapsed and died; so, how could he have made a will to v Ali?"[21In the same reference, 
the author quotes other sources citing "Ayesha saying, "The Messenger of Allah breathed his 
last while being between my stomach and under my chin," and she is often quoted saying, 
"He died reclining on my chest," and she may have said: "He died while his head was on my 
thigh. "[3J So, had there been any will, she would have come to know about it. In 

Sayyid 'Abd al-Husayn Sharaf al-Din al-Musawi 



Al-Muraja'at 201 
Shi'i-Sunni dialogue 

Muslim's Sahih, in a treatise on the subject of wills on page 14, Vol. 2, the author quotes 
"Ayesha saying, "The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) left neither a dinar nor a dirham, nor a 
male nor a female camel, nor did he leave any will." In both sahihs, in a treatise on wills, 
Talhah ibn Masrif is quoted saying, "I asked "Abdullah ibn Abu "Awfah: "Did the Prophet 
leave any will at all?' He answered: "No.' I asked him: "How did he enjoin people to write 
their wills while he himself did not do so?' He answered: "His will is the Book of Allah.'" 
Since these ahadith are more authentic than the ones which you have cited, and are included 
in both sahihs, while the ones you have cited are not, they can be brought forth as irrefutable 
arguments, Wassalam. 

Yours, 

5 



OJThis hadith is quoted by al-Bukhari in his treatise on "Al-Wasaya (wills)," page 83, Vol. 
2, of his Sahih, and in his chapter on the sickness and demise of the Prophet (pbuh), page 64, 
Vol. 3, of the same book. It is quoted by Muslim on page 64, Vol. 3, of his Sahih, and it is 
also quoted by Muslim in his treatise of the Prophet's will on page 14, Vol. 2, of his Sahih. 

[21 You probably already know that both shaykhs have intentionally narrated this hadith 
while discussing the Prophet's will to "Ali, for those who stated at that time that the Prophet 
had left a will to "Ali had not yet split from the ranks of the nation. They were either among 
the sahabah or the tabPin who had the courage to reveal what would make the mother of 
believers unhappy and would oppose the politics of the time; for this reason, she, may Allah 
be pleased with her, was shaken a great deal when she heard their hadith. Such a reaction is 
seen in her own statement in response to it, a statement which is one of the most feeble of 
answers. Imam al-Sindi, in his comment on this hadith in al-Nisai's Sunan, as indicated on 
page 241, Vol. 6 (the Egyptian Press at al-Azhar), said: "It is quite obvious that such hadith 
[by the mother of the believers "Ayesha] does not rule out the existence of the will prior to 
her statement, nor does it prove that he (pbuh) had died suddenly without being able to leave 
a will or could have thought of doing so, since he came to know that his end was 
approaching even before falling sick, then he remained sick for days...," up to the conclusion 
of his statement. If you scrutinize this statement, you will find it quite strong. 

[3_[Her statements "He died on my chest," and "He died between my belly and chin," are 
recorded in a chapter dealing with his sickness and demise (pbuh) in Bukhari's Sahih. As 
regarding her statement "He died while his head was on my thigh," this exists in another 
chapter in which the author discusses his sickness and demise without an intervening 
chapter. 



Letter 70 

The Will Cannot be Repudiated, 
II Why Denied, 



Sayyid 'Abd al-Husayn Sharaf al-Din al-Musawi 



Al-Muraja'at 202 
Shi'i-Sunni dialogue 



III Deniers' Arguments not Binding, 

IV Reason and Intellect Require it. 



Safar 11, 1330 

The Prophet's will regarding v Ali cannot be repudiated, for there is no doubt that he 
entrusted him, having bequeathed to him his knowledge and wisdom, as indicated in Letter 
66 above, to wash his corpse, enshroud it and bury it,[4_[ and to pay his dues, fulfill his 
promise on his behalf, defray his outstanding debts,[5Jand explain to people after him 
whatever matters in which they differed regarding the commandments and injunctions of 
Allah, the Exalted and the Sublime.[6_L He also entrusted the nation to take 'Ali (as) as his 
(pbuh) successor,JTL brotherJ81 the father of his descendants ,[91 his 

vizier, T 101 confidant jlll the executor of his will, \ 121 his vicegerent, [ 131 the gateway of his 
knowledge, according to hadith number 9 cited in Letter 48 above, the gateway of his 
wisdom, according to hadith number 10 cited in Letter 48, the Gate of Salvation of his 
nation, according to hadith number 14 cited in Letter 48 above, its security and the ark of its 
salvation, as testified by the traditions we quoted in Letter 8 above. Obeying Ali is as 
important as obeying the Prophet himself: disobedience to him is a sin equal to that of 
disobeying the Prophet according to hadith number 16 cited in Letter 48 and according to 
others. Following him is equal to following the Prophet; abandoning him is abandoning the 
Prophet, according to hadith number 17 cited in Letter 48 above and according to others, 
that he [Prophet] is on peaceful terms with whoever is peaceful with him, and he is an 
enemy of whoever bears animosity towards him, \ 141 the friend of whoever befriends him 
and the enemy of whoever antagonizes him; |T51 whoever loves him is loved by Allah and 
His Messenger, and whoever hates him does in turn hate Allah and His Messenger, 
according to ahadith 19, 20 and 21 cited in Letter 48 above and according to others. 
Whoever befriends him befriends them both, and whoever antagonizes him in fact 
antagonizes them both, according to hadith 23 cited in the same Letter; whoever harms him 
harms them too; [161 whoever denounces him does in fact denounce both Allah and His 
Messenger (pbuh), according to hadith 18 cited in Letter 48 above, and according to others. 
He is the Imam of the righteous and the annihilator of the debauchees; whoever supports is 
in fact divinely supported, and whoever betrays him is betrayed by the Almighty, according 
to the first hadith cited in the same Letter and according to others; he is the master of 
Muslims and the Imam of the righteous, the leader of the pious among the most renown 
men, according to ahadith 2, 3, 4, and 5 in Letter 48; he is the banner of guidance, the Imam 
of Allah's servants, the lighthouse of whoever obeys Allah's commandments, the Word 
which Allah has enjoined upon the pious, according to hadith 6 in the same Letter and 
according to others; he is the supreme Siddiq, the nation's Faruq, and the believers' chief, 
according to hadith 7 in the same Letter and according to others. His status is like that of 
the Great Furqan (Qur'an) and the Wise Remembrance . \ 1 7 1 He is to the Prophet in the same 
position which Aaron held in comparison to Moses, as clarified in Letters No. 26, 28, 30, 
32, and 34, and to the Prophet's status with his Lord, according to hadith 13 of Letter 48, 
and according to others, and like the position of the Prophet's head to his body, according to 
the hadith quoted in Letter 50 and to others, to which we refer you, suggesting that you may 
observe our comment. He is like unto his own self according to the verse of Mubahala and 
to the hadith quoted by Ibn v Awf which is reproduced in Letter 50. Allah the Exalted and 



Sayyid 'Abd al-Husayn Sharaf al-Din al-Musawi 



Al-Muraja'at 203 
Shi'i-Sunni dialogue 

the Sublime cast a look at the inhabitants of the earth and chose him from among them as is 
clear from the traditions which we have quoted in our Letter 68. Suffices you his covenant 
on the standing day at v Arafat during the Farewell Pilgrimage, and that nobody discharges 
the Prophet's responsibility other than the Prophet himself or "AH J181 up to the end of so 
many such attributes which nobody else can claim other than a wasi, and those who enjoy a 
special status with the Prophet; so, how can any wise person deny the Prophet's will, or 
overlook it, other than an interest seeker? What is a will other than entrusting a person with 
some such matters? 

2) As regarding the followers of the four sects, whoever denies it from among them does so 
thinking that accepting it will jeopardize the legitimacy of the caliphate of the three Imams. 

3) We cannot accept their argument just because it is based upon what al Bukhari and 
others have said. They quote Talhah ibn Masrif saying: "I asked "Abdullah ibn Abu 
"Awfah: "Did the Prophet leave any will at all?' He answered: "No.' I asked: "How did he 
enjoin people to write their wills while he himself did not do so?' He answered: 'His will is 
the Book of Allah.'" This hadith is not confirmed through our sources; it is but a fabrication 
necessitated by certain politicians. Regardless of that, the sahihs of the purified progeny 
are mutawatir regarding the issue of the will; so, let all texts which disagree with them be 
discarded. 

4) Yet the issue of the will does not even require any argument due to the dictates of reason 
and common sense. 

If something elongates, it stands by itself - in form and hue; 

For surely the sun dissipates all that seems to be untrue. 

As regarding al Bukhari's narrative from Ibn Abu v Awfah who claims that the Prophet, 
peace be upon him and his progeny, has left the Book of Allah as his will, it is a statement 
the tail of which is cut off, for he, peace be upon him and his progeny, had recommended to 
his nation to uphold both Weighty Things spontaneously, warning it of the danger of 
straying if it did not do so, informing it that they both would never part from each other till 
they reached him at the Pool. Our sahihs in this regard are consecutively reported from the 
sources of the purified progeny; so, you may refer to other sahihs as quoted in our Letters 
No. 8 and 54, Wassalam. 

Yours, 

Sh 



[4_L On page 66, Part Two, Vol. 2, of his Tabaqat, Ibn Sa'd quotes 'Ali saying: "The 
Prophet (pbuh) had instructed that nobody other than myself should give him the 
ceremonial bath [for the dead]." Both Abul Shaykh and Ibn al-Najjar, as stated on page 54, 
Vol. 4, of Kanz al-^Ummal, quote v Ali (as) saying: "The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) had 
instructed me saying: 'When I die, bathe me and use seven water skins." Ibn Sa v d, while 
discussing giving the Prophet (pbuh) his last ceremonial bath, on page 63, Part Two, Vol. 2, 
of his Tabaqat, quotes v Abdul-Wahid ibn Abu v Awanah saying that when the Messenger of 
Allah (pbuh) fell sick prior to his demise, he said: "O 'Ali! You should bathe me when I 



Sayyid 'Abd al-Husayn Sharaf al-Din al-Musawi 



Al-Muraja'at 204 
Shi'i-Sunni dialogue 

die." 'Ali said: "I conducted the ceremonial bath for him, and each part of his body was 
very responsive to my touch." Both al-Hakim, on page 59, Vol. 3, of his Al-Mustadrak, and 
al-Thahbi in hisTalkhis, quote v Ali saying: "I gave the Messenger of Allah his bath, and I 
waited to see how death would affect his body, but I sensed no change: his body smelt in 
death as fragrantly as it did when he was still alive." This hadith is quoted by Sa'id ibn 
Mansur in his books of traditions, by al-Marwazi in his J ana Hz, by Abu Dawud in 
his Marasil, by Ibn Mani\ Ibn Abu Shaybah in his books on traditions, and it is hadith 
number 1094, page 54, Vol. 4, of Kanz al- K Ummal. Al-Bayhaqi, in his books of traditions, 
quotes "Abdullah ibn al-Harith saying: ""Ali gave the Prophet (pbuh) the ceremonial bath 
while the Prophet's corpse was wrapped in a shirt," and it is hadith number 1104, page 55, 
Vol. 4, of Kanz al-^Ummal, and Ibn "Abbas is quoted saying: " v Ali has four chracteristics 
nobody else has had: he is the first to pray in the company of the Messenger of Allah; he 
accompanied him in all his campaigns; he remained with him when others ran away for 
their own lives, and he is the one who administered the ceremonial bath to him and placed 
him in his grave." This is quoted by Ibn "Abd al-Birr is his biography of v Ali in the IstPab, 
and by al-Hakim on page 111, Vol. 3, of Al-Mustadrak. He also quotes Abu Sa v id al-Khudri 
saying that the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his progeny, has said to 'Ali: 
"O 'Ali! You are the one who should bathe me, cancel my debts, and entomb me in my 
grave." This is quoted by al-Daylami, too, and it is hadith number 2583, page 155, Vol. 4, 
of Kanz al-^Ummal. "Umer is quoted saying that the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said to 'AH 
(as) once: "You are to bathe me and bury me," according to the hadith on page 393, Vol. 6, 
of Kanz al-^Ummal. In the footnote to page 45, Vol. 5, of Ahmed's Musnad, v Ali is quoted 
saying: "I have heard the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) saying: "I have been granted five of 
my own wishes regarding v Ali the like of which no other Prophet before me had been 
granted regarding anyone. The first is that he is the one who would cancel my debt and 
bury my body...," up to the end of the hadith quoted at the beginning of page 403, Vol. 6, 
of Kanz al-^Ummal. And when he was placed on the bed and people desired to perform the 
ritual burial prayer rites, 'Ali said: "Nobody should be the Imam in leading such prayer, for 
the Messenger of Allah is your Imam alive and dead." People used to enter in groups and 
stand in prayers in a row without an Imam. They would make the takbiras "Ali stood near 
the corpse of the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) saying: "Peace be unto you, O Messenger, and 
Allah's Mercy and Blessings; we bear witness, O Mighty Lord, that he has conveyed what 
You have revealed unto him, provided advice to his nation, and struggled in the way of 
Allah till He, the Exalted, the omni-Scient, elevated His faith, and his mission was 
accomplished. O Lord! Include us among those who follow what You have revealed to him, 
make us strong in our conviction, and rejoin our souls in his company," and people would 
respond with "Amin, Amin." This continued till all men, then women, then children, said 
their prayers. This hadithverbatim is quoted by Ibn Sa v d in his discussion of how the 
Prophet was given his ceremonial burial bath in his ownTabaqat. The first who entered to 
pay respects were the descendants of Hashim, then the Immigrants (Muhajirun), then the 
Supporters (Ansar), then other people. The first men who performed the ritual funeral 
prayers on his departed soul were v Ali and al-' Abbas who stood beside each other and made 
fiwetakbirs. 

[5_L Narratives in this regard are consecutively reported from the purified progeny (as). 
Suffices you what is quoted in Al-Kabirby al-Tabrani from Ibn 'Umer, and by Abu YaTi in 
his Musnadfrom v Ali (as). The first quotes one particular hadith in which the Messenger of 
Allah (pbuh) says: "O v Ali! You are my brother and vizier, and you shall pay my dues on 
my behalf, fulfill my commitment, and set my conscience to ease." You can find this hadith 



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Shi'i-Sunni dialogue 

on page 155, Vol. 6, of Kanz al-^Ummal narrated by Ibn 'Umer. On page 404, Vol. 6, of the 
same reference, 'Ali (as) is quoted stating likewise. Many have quoted al-Buwaisiri saying 
that the narrators of this hadith are all trustworthy. Ibn Mardawayh and al-Daylami, as 
stated on page 155, Vol. 6, ofKanz al-^Ummal, quote Salman al-Farisi saying that the 
Messenger of Allah (pbuh) has said: '"Ali ibn Abu Talib fulfills my commitments on my 
own behalf, and he cancels my debt." Al-Bazzaz, as stated on page 153, Vol. 6, of Kanz al- 
^Ummal, indicates the same. It is also quoted by Imam Ahmed ibn Hanbal on page 164, 
Vol. 4, of his Musnad from Habashi ibn Janadah who says: "I have heard the Messenger of 
Allah (pbuh) saying: "Nobody pays my dues except I or "Ali."' Ibn Mardawayh, as stated on 
page 401, Vol. 6, ofKanz al-^Ummal, quotes v Ali (as) saying that when the verse "And 
warn thy near in kin" was revealed, the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said: " v Ali pays my 
debt, and fulfills my promise on my own behalf." Sa'd says that on the Juhfa day, the 
Messenger of Allah (pbuh), having taken 'Ali by the hand, and delivered a sermon, praised 
and glorified Allah then said: "O people! I am yoxxrwali." They said: "You have spoken the 
truth, O Messenger of Allah." Then he raised v Ali's hand and said: "This is the one chosen 
to be my wali; he shall pay my debt on my behalf." Qatdah is quoted saying, '"Ali has 
carried out after the prophet (pbuh) a few errands (on behalf of the Prophet) one of which is 
said to have been the payment of [debts totalling] five hundred thousand dirhams." 'Abdul- 
Razzaq was asked: "Did the Prophet (pbuh) leave a will in this regard?" He answered: 
"Yes; I do not doubt at all that the Prophet (pbuh) has, indeed, left a will to "AH; otherwise, 
nobody would have let him pay the Prophet's debt all by himself." This hadith is quoted by 
the author of Kanz al-^Ummal on page 60, Vol. 4, who numbers it 1 170. 

[6J Authentic texts have unanimously stated that he (pbuh) has entrusted v Ali (as) to clarify 
to his nation whatever ambiguous matters in which they disputed after him. Suffices you for 
proofs ahadith number 11 and 12 quoted in Letter No. 48, in addition to others which we 
have already quoted, as well as others which we have not quoted due to their being too 
well-known. 

[71 This is explained in Letters 36, 40, 54, and 56 above. 

[81 The brotherhood between the Prophet and the wasi ismutawatir, and suffices you for 
proof for its authenticity what we have quoted in Letters No. 32 and 34. 

[91 His being the father of his descendants is understood. He (pbuh) has said to 'Ali (as): 
"You are my brother, and the father of my descendants; you shall fight for my Sunnah." 
This hadith is quoted by Abu YaTi in his Musnad, as stated on page 404, Vol. 6, of Kanz 
al-^Ummal, and its narrators are all trustworthy as admitted by al-Busairi. It is also quoted 
in Ahmed'sManaqib, as stated at the conclusion of Section Two, Part 9, page 74, of Ibn 
Hajar's Al-Sawa^iq al-Muhriqa. He (pbuh) has also said: "Allah has placed the progeny of 
every prophet in his own loin, and He has placed mine in "Ali's loins." This hadith is quoted 
by al-Tabrani in his Al-Kabir as narrated by Jabir, and by al-Khatib in his Tarikh from Ibn 
v Abbas. It is hadith number 2510, page 152, Vol. 6, of Kanz al-^Ummal. And he (pbuh) has 
said: "All descendants of women belong to the latter's men except Fatima's, for I am 
their wali and father." This is quoted by al-Tabrani from al-Zahra' (as) and is included 
among the ahadith quoted by Ibn Hajar in Section 2, Part 1 1, of his Al-Sawa^iq al-Muhriqa, 
page 112. It is also quoted by al-Tabrani from Ibn "Umer as referred to on the same page. 
Al-Hakim quotes something like it on page 164, Vol. 3, of his Al-Mustadrak, adding: "The 
narrators of this hadith are trustworthy, though they [Bukhari and Muslim] did not record 



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it." He (pbuh) has said in one hadith quoted by al-Hakim in hisAl-Mustadrak, and al-Thahbi 
in his Talkhis al-Mustadrak, both admitting its authenticity due to the endorsement of both 
shaykhs, "As regarding you, O "Ali, you, indeed, are my brother and the father of my 
descendants; you are of me and for me," up to the end of the list of such authentic texts. 

f 101 Refer to the texts regarding v Ali's government such as his (pbuh) statement: "You to 
me are in the same status like that of Aaron to Moses," as we explained in Letter No. 26, 
and in others. And also his saying (pbuh) in the hadith of warning his household, "Who, 
then, among you would support me in my mission?" v Ali answered: "I, O Messenger of 
Allah, would like to be your supporter in this matter," as quoted in our Letter No. 20. May 
Allah reward Imam Abu-Sayri for his poetic masterpiece in which he says: 

And the vizier of his cousin in endeavours sublime, 

And by their own households are viziers prime; 

Uncovering the lid did not his conviction increase, 

Like the sun, nothing can cause his rays to decrease. 

[Ill The nation's consensus has decreed that there is one verse in the Book of Allah 
implemented by nobody other than "Ali till the Day of Judgment. It is the verse of elevation 
[najwa] in Surat al-Mujadila. This is agreed upon by both his supporters and opponents 
who quote in this regard many texts held to be authentic according to both shaykhs, known 
by the pious among the nation as well as the libertine. Suffices you what is quoted by al- 
Hakim on page 482, Vol. 2, of his Al-Mustadrak, and by al-Thahbi in his Talkhis al- 
Mustadrak. Refer also to the exegesis of this verse as recorded by books of exegesis 
authored by al-ThaTabi, al-Tabari, al-Sayyuti, al-Zamakhshari, al-Razi, and others. In the 
forthcoming Letter No. 74, you will come to know of two ahadith narrated by Umm 
Salamah and 'Abdullah ibn 'Umer regarding the confidential dialogue between the Prophet 
(pbuh) and v Ali (as) immediately prior to the Prophet's demise, and you will be acquainted 
with their confidential discussion on the day of Ta'if, and the statement of the Messenger of 
Allah (pbuh) then: "It is not I who has confided in him; it is Allah Who has done so," and 
also to their confidential talks during "Ayesha's time; so, contemplate upon that. 

f 1 21 Suffices you for a text proving that he is his wall his statement (pbuh), quoted by Ibn 
"Abbas and referred to in Letter No. 22: "You are the wali on my behalf in this life and the 
life hereafter." This hadith stands on firm grounds according to the demands of the religion 
of Islam; therefore, there is no need to go into details. 

r 131 Suffices you of the texts of the will what you have heard in Letter No. 68. 

f 141 This is quoted by Imam Ahmed from Abu Hurayrah's hadith on page 442, Vol. 2, of 
his Musnad. He says that the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) looked at v Ali, Fatima, al-Hasan, 
and al-Husayn, peace be upon them, then said: "I declare war on whoever fights you, and 
peace unto whoever is peaceful towards you." In another authentic hadith, he (pbuh) has 
also said when he covered them with a blanket, "I declare war on whoever fights them, and 
peace unto whoever is peaceful towards them." This hadith is transmitted by Ibn Hajar 
while explaining the first verse which he states to have been revealed in their honour in 



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Section One, Part 11, of his Al-Sawa^iq al-Muhriqa, giving detailed explanation for his 
(pbuh) statement: "Fighting v Ali is fighting me, too, and making peace with v Ali is making 
peace with me." 

£151 Refer to hadith 20 in Letter No. 48. His consecutive statement: "O Lord! Befriend 
whoever befriends him, and be the enemy of whoever sets himself as his enemy" should, by 
the Grace of Allah, suffice. You have heard in Letter No. 36 his (pbuh) statement as quoted 
by Buraydah: "Whoever hates v Ali hates me, too, and whoever abandons 'Ali abandons me, 
too." Another mutawatir hadith is his (pbuh) statement: "Nobody loves him fAli] except a 
believer, and nobody hates him except a hypocrite." It is by Allah the covenant of the 
Ummi Prophet (pbuh). 

r 1 61 Consider his statement (pbuh), which is quoted by v Umer ibn Shash, "Anyone who 
hurts v Ali hurts me, too," which is quoted by Ahmed on page 483, Vol. 3, of his Musnad, 
and by al-Hakim on page 123, Vol. 3, of his Al-Mustadrak, and by al-Thahbi in Talkhis al- 
Mustadrak where he admits its authenticity. Al-Bukhari has quoted it in his Tarikh, Ibn 
SaM in his Tabaqat, Ibn Abu-Shaybah in his Musnad, and al-Tabrani in his Kabir. It exists 
on page 400, Vol. 6, of Kanz al- K Ummal. 

[171 Consider in this regard what you have heard in Letter No. 8 quoting Sihah al- 
Thaqalain, for they show the truth to those who have eyes to see, and you have already 
come to know in Letter No. 50 that '"Ali is with the Qur'an and the Qur'an is with v Ali; they 
shall never separate from each other." 

r 1 81 Reason alone rules it impossible that the Prophet (pbuh) would order something and 
strongly requires his nation to adhere to it while he himself is in dire need to act upon it. He 
needed a will in order to appoint his representative, and take into consideration the orphans 
who most badly need a care-taker. Allah is above neglecting his precious legacy, which 
includes Allah's legislations and commandments, and Allah is above leaving his orphans 
and widows, who are residents of the earth far and wide, struggling in the dark, going and 
coming as they desired, without a qayyim through whom Allah's argument becomes 
complete against them. Yet even common sense by itself rules that he should have left a 
will for v Ali (as), since we have found the prophet (pbuh) entrusting him to bathe and 
embalm his corpse, to clothe and bury it, then to pay his outstanding debts and clear his 
conscience, and clarify to people what they differ regarding their faith after him... etc., as 
referred to at the beginning of this Letter. 



Letter 71 
Why Reject the Hadith of the Mother of Believers and the best Among the 

Prophet's Consorts? 



Safar 10, 1330 

Why did you - may Allah forgive you - turn away from the mother of believers 
and the best of the Prophet's consorts and discarded her hadith, leaving it to 



Sayyid 'Abd al-Husayn Sharaf al-Din al-Musawi 



Al-Muraja'at 208 
Shi'i-Sunni dialogue 

oblivion, while her statement is the final and just judgment? In spite of this, you 
may give us your own viewpoint to consider, 

Wassalam. 

Sincerely, 

S 



Letter 72 

I She Was Not the Best of the Prophet's Consorts, 

II The Best is Khadija, 

III A General Hint to the Reason Why her Hadith was Discarded. 

Safar 12, 1330 

1) The mother of the believers "Ayesha enjoys a special status, and she has her own 
contribution standing to her credit, but she is not the best of the Prophet's wives. How can 
she be the best since one authentic hadith quotes her saying, "The Messenger of Allah, 
peace be upon him and his progeny, once mentioned Khadija, and I objected by saying: 
'She was an old woman, and such and such, and Allah has granted you someone better than 
her [meaning herself].' He said: "Not at all; Allah has not granted me better than her; she 
believed in me when people denounced me, and she believed in me when people called me a 
liar; she shared her wealth with me when people deprived me, and Allah blessed me with 
children by her while depriving me of the children of all others'"? 'Ayesha is also reported 
as having said, "The Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his progeny, never left 
home before mentioning Khadija and praising her. One day, he mentioned her, and I felt 
jealous. I said: v Was she but an old woman, while Allah has blessed you with someone 
better than her?' He became so offended that his front hair shook in anger, then he said: v No, 
by Allah! Allah did not bless me with anyone better than her! She believed in me when 
people disbelieved; she held me truthful when people called me a liar; she gave me an equal 
share of her wealth when people deprived me, and Allah blessed me with children by her 
while depriving me the children of other women.'"[ll 

2) The best of the Prophet's (pbuh) consorts, therefore, is Khadija al-Kubra, the truthful of 
this nation, the foremost in believing in Allah and His Book, and in solacing His Prophet. 
Allah has inspired His Messenger (pbuh) to convey the good news to her that she had in 
Paradise a house built of stalks of gold and silver,[2f and that she had been a favourite of 
Allah. The Almighty said of her: "The best of the women of Paradise are Khadija daughter 
of Khuaylid, Fatima daughter of Muhammad, Asiya daughter of Muzahim, and Mary 
daughter of 'Umran (Amram)." He, peace be upon him and his progeny, has said: "Among 
all the women of the world, commended are Khadija daughter of Khuaylid, Fatima daughter 



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of Muhammad, Asiya daughter of Muzahim, and Mary daughter of "Umran." There are 
other ahadith which are among the most authentic and reliable emphasizing the same. [31 

It cannot also be said that "Ayesha was the best among the mothers of believers save 
Khadija. Reliable traditions and recorded events refuse to favour her over the others, as is 
obvious to the wise. She probably thought of herself as being superior to all others, and the 
Prophet, peace be upon him and his progeny, did not agree with her self assessment. The 
same happened with Safiyya daughter of Huyay when the Messenger of Allah, peace be 
upon him and his progeny, entered her room once and found her weeping. He asked her: 
"What grieves you?" She answered: "I have come to know that both v Ayesha and Hafsa 
speak ill of me and say that they are better than me." He, peace be upon him and his 
progeny, said: "Couldn't you have told them: 'How can you be better than me, since my 
father is Aaron, my uncle is Moses, and my husband is Muhammad?"T41 Whoever traces 
the mother of the believers 'Ayesha in her deeds and statements will find her as we indicate 
here. 

3) The reason why we have discarded her hadith regarding the will is due to the fact that it 
does not constitute an argument, and please do not ask me to elaborate on this point, 
Wassalam. 

Sincerely, 

Sh 



[IJThis hadith and the one that follows it are among detailed ahadith narrated by Sunnis. 
Refer to them in the discussion of Khadija al-Kubra (as) in the IstVab, and you will find 
them as we have quoted them here verbatim. They are quoted by al-Bukhari and Muslim in 
their sahihs in almost similar wording. 

[21 As narrated by al-Bukhari in his chapter on women's jealousy and sentimentality, near 
the conclusion of his treatise on marriage, page 175, Vol. 3, of his Sahih. 

[31 We have quoted it in the second paragraph of our celebrated statement, and anyone who 
wishes to research is referred thereto. 

[41 This is quoted by al-Tirmithi from Kinanah, slave of the mother of believers Safiyya, 
and it is transmitted by Ibn "Abd al-Birr in his biography of Safiyya in the IstVab, Ibn Hajar 
in her biography in Al-Isabah, by Shaykh Rashid Rida at the end of page 589, Vol. 12, of 
his Manar, in addition to many other traditionists. 



Letter 73 
Requesting an Explanation to our Rejection of 'Ayesha's Hadith 



Sayyid 'Abd al-Husayn Sharaf al-Din al-Musawi 



Al-Muraja'at 210 
Shi'i-Sunni dialogue 



Safar 13, 1330 

You are not one who deceives, cheats, or pretends, nor are you one who falsely charges 
someone. You are above being charged or accused as being as such. I, praise be to Allah, 
neither criticize nor disprove, nor do I look for someone's faults nor shortcomings; truth is 
my pursuit. I cannot help asking you why you turn away from her fAyesha's] hadith, and 
your documented answer to this question is unavoidable. 

Convey your message, and have no worry, 

Let thy eyes be cooled, and be merry. 

The argument I press in this regard is embedded in the meaning of this verse of the Holy 
Qur'an: "Those who have concealed what We have revealed of clear signs and guidance 
after We had made them clear to mankind in the Book: these have been cursed by Allah and 
by those who curse (2:159)"..., Wassalam. 

Sincerely, 

5 



Letter 74 

I Explaining Why We Reject her Hadith, 

II Reason Confirms the Will, 

III Her Claim that the Prophet Died on Her Chest is Refuted. 

Safar 14, 1330 

1) You have, may Allah assist you, insisted that I should elaborate, and you have left me 
no option except doing just that. Due to the wealth of your knowledge, you know where 
we come from. Here lies the fountainhead of the will; here lies the battle-ground of 
explicit texts; here lies the annihilation of thekhums, inheritance, and creed; here lies the 
cause of sedition; here lies the reason of discord; here lies the root of 
dissension. ..JT[ While fighting the Commander of the Faithful, she toured the lands, 
leading a huge army in order to usurp his government and put an end to his rule. 

What happened has happened; I am no narrator of that; 

So have good thoughts, and do not ask who, when or what. 

To argue in support of denying the will to " Ali using her own statement, the most bitter of 

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Shi'i-Sunni dialogue 

his enemies that she was, is an attempt not expected at all from any fair minded person. 
And that was not the only incident that demonstrated her animosity towards "Ali (as). 
Denying the will to "Ali is much less significant than the Lesser Camel Battle[21and the 
Greater Camel Battle in which evil intentions surfaced and the curtain removed. Likewise, 
her attitude was manifest even before going out to fight him, the man who was her 
own wali, and her Prophet's wasi, till the news of his death reached her, whereupon she 
prostrated to thank God (for his martyrdom) and composed these lines: T31 

She laid down her rod, happy and pleased, 

Her heart joyful, her mind eased; 

As a traveller arrives home, of burdens relieved; 

Never say "Ayesha, by Ali's death, was grieved. 

If you desire, I may quote for you of her hadith what proves to you that she was in remote 
error. She has said: "When the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his progeny, 
became seriously sick, he went out dragging his feet, reclining on two persons; one of 
them was "Abbas ibn "Abdul Muttalib and another man. "[41 The narrator of this hadith 
comments adding: "I informed "Abdullah ibn "Abbas about what "Ayesha had said, and he 
responded to me saying, "Do you know the name of the man whom "Ayesha did not 
name?' I said: "no.' Ibn "Abbas said: "He was "Ali ibn Abu Talib.'" The narrator continues 
to say that "Ayesha does not wish "Ali any good.JTL 

If she did not wish any good to a man with whom the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon 
him and his progeny, walked, how could she then be expected to feel good about 
mentioning the will which contains a great deal of good for "Ali? On page 113, Vol. 6, of 
his Musnad, Imam Ahmed quotes "Ata' ibn Yasar saying: "A man came and spoke ill of 
both "Ali and "Ammar to "Ayesha who responded by saying, "As regarding "Ali, I have 
nothing to say to defend him; but concerning "Ammar, I have heard the Messenger of 
Allah, peace be upon him and his progeny, say that whenever "Ammar had to opt between 
two options, he always chose the most reasonable of them.'" 

Have you noticed that?! The mother of the believers warns about plotting against "Ammar 
due to the saying of the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his progeny, 
"Whenever "Ammar had to opt between two options, he always chose the most reasonable 
of them," while refraining from warning against plotting to harm "Ali who is the brother 
and successor of the Prophet, his Aaron and confidant, the most just among his nation, the 
foremost to believe in his message, the one whose merits are the most...! As if she is not 
aware of his status in the eyes of Allah, the Exalted and Mighty, or his position in the 
heart of the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his progeny, or his status in 
Islam, his great efforts for its promotion, and his handsome contributions. As if she never 
heard anything in the Book of Allah nor the Sunnah of His Messenger (pbuh) in his praise, 
so that she would place him at par with "Ammar! 

By Allah, my mind is perplexed when I consider her statement: "I have seen the Prophet 
(pbuh), while on my chest, ordering a wash-bowl to be brought to him; I hardly noticed 
how fast he collapsed and died; so, how could he have made a will to "Ali?" I do not know 



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Shi'i-Sunni dialogue 

which aspect of her statement I should criticize, being scrutinized as a whole from various 
angles. I wonder how anyone can presume that since his death took place the way she 
described, he could not have left a will. Did she think that a will is valid only at the time 
of death?! No, but it is the excuse of one who is fighting the irrefutable truth, whoever he 
or she may be, while Allah has said in His Glorious Book, addressing His revered 
Messenger (pbuh), "It is prescribed unto you when death approaches someone to leave 
something good, a will (Qur'an, 2:180 and 5:106)." Did the mother of the believers ever 
see him, peace be upon him and his progeny, going against the instructions of the Book of 
Allah or ignoring its injunctions? God forbid. She saw him following its guidance, 
adhering to its verses, rushing to obey its bidding and forbidding, reaching the ultimate 
end of adherence to all its injunctions. There is no doubt in my mind that she must have 
heard him saying: "No believer who knows that he is leaving something behind him 
should sleep even two nights without having his will written, "£6_1 or something in this 
meaning, for his instructions regarding the writing of wills have undoubtedly come from 
him. It does not fit him or any other Prophet, blessings of Allah be upon all of them, to bid 
something without doing it himself, or forbid something while doing the opposite thereof; 
Allah is above selecting such individuals for conveying His message. 

As regarding what Muslim and others have quoted v Ayesha saying: "The Messenger of 
Allah (pbuh) left neither a dinar nor a dirham, neither a male nor a female camel, nor did 
he leave any will," it is just like its previous "hadith." Yet it is not correct to assume that 
what she meant was that he (pbuh) did not leave any will at all, but rather that he did not 
have possessions which required a will, for, indeed, he did not leave much of this world's 
wares, the most ascetic person that he was. He joined his Lord, the Exalted and the 
Sublime, leaving a few outstanding debts,[7]and a few items, in addition to things 
entrusted to him by other people which required a will [regarding who they belonged to. 
He also left of his own possessions something that would help defray his debts, and the 
fulfillment of his promises, with a remnant that required being handed over to his heir. 
The proof for that is what Fatima al Zahra', peace be upon her, rightfully demanded of her 
father's inheritance. \ 81 

2) The Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his progeny, left things which 
demanded a will, things which no other human being ever left. Suffices you that he left the 
upright religion of Allah, while still at the beginning of its growth and early inception, and 
that by itself demanded an heir more than did gold or silver, a house or a real estate, lands 
or cattle. The entire nation became his orphans and widows, seeking refuge with his 
successor to take his place to fare with them and manage their religious and secular 
affairs. It is impossible that the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his progeny, 
should have entrusted Allah's religion, while still in its cradle, to inclinations and 
presumptions, or left the protection of its legislation to personal motives and interests, 
without a successor to look after religious as well as secular affairs, someone upon whom 
he could rely to represent him before the public. He is above leaving his orphans, who 
inhabited spacious lands, like frightened cattle in a rainy winter night, without anyone to 
look after them. He is above abandoning the will especially after having received 
instructions in its regard from his Lord and thus strongly commanded his nation to do so. 
Reason does not listen to the claim that no will was made, even if such a claim comes 
from a highly respected person. 

At the dawn of the Islamic era, the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his 



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Shi'i-Sunni dialogue 

progeny, made a will to v Ali (as) even before his mission was publicized in Mecca, 
immediately following the revelation of the verse saying: "And warn your near kin 
(26:214)," as we explained in Letter 20. He continued repeating his will time and over 
again, emphasizing it through many covenants to which we had referred. When he finally 
wished, while in his last hours, may I sacrifice my parents for his own sake, to write his 
will to 'Ali (as) to emphasize his previous verbal covenants, and to back his previous 
verbal statements in this regard, he, peace be upon him and his progeny, said: "Bring me 
some writing material so that I may write for you something to protect you against 
straying," but they disputed, while no dispute is permitted in the presence of a Prophet, 
and said: "The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) is delirious. "[91 It was then that he (pbuh) 
realized, after they had made such a statement, that no trace would remain of his intended 
order, if implemented, other than dissension; therefore, he told them to clear his room, 
feeling satisfied with the verbal covenants which he had made to v Ali (as). 

In spite of all this, however, he made three recommendations at the time of his death: that 
they should select 'Ali as his successor; that they should turn the polytheists out of the 
Arabian peninsula; and that they should reward the envoys in the same way he (pbuh) 
used to reward them. But the dictates of politics at that time did not permit the traditionists 
to narrate his first will, claiming that they had forgotten it. Al Bukhari, at the conclusion 
of the hadith containing the charge that the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) was delirious, 
said verbatim: "And his (pbuh) will at the time of his death contained three instructions: to 
turn the polytheists out of the Arabian peninsula, to reward the envoys in the same way 
which he used to reward them..., and the third one was forgotten. " J 101 This is how Muslim 
puts it in his Sahih, and so do all other authors of sunan and musnads. 

3) The claim of the mothers of believers that the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him 
and his progeny, joined his Lord while being on her chest is opposed by the authenticated 
tradition stating that he (pbuh) joined the Supreme Companion while being on the chest of 
his brother and friend (wall) v Ali ibn Abu Talib (as), according to all consecutively 
reported sahihs from the Imams of the purified progeny which are supported by 
Sunni sahihs, as is well known to researchers, Wassalam. 

Sincerely, 

Sh 



|T1 This agrees with Sunni books of traditions; so, refer to al-Bukhari's Sahih, his chapter 
on the households of the Prophet's wives, his treatise on holy wars and traditions, page 
125, Vol. 2, and you will find the details. 

[21 The dissension of the Lesser Camel Battle took place in Basra five days before the end 
of Rabrul-Thani, 36 A.H., before the arrival of the Commander of the Faithful (as) there, 
when the city was attacked by the mother of believers fAyesha] accompanied by Talhah 
and al-Zubayr. "Ali's governor of Basra then was 'Uthman ibn Hanif al-Ansari. Forty 
supporters of 'Ali (as) were killed at its mosque, and seventy others elsewhere. v Uthman 
ibn Hanif, who was one of the most respectful sahabah, was taken captive, and his captors 
wanted to kill him but feared revenge from his brother Suhayl and the rest of the Ansar; 



Sayyid 'Abd al-Husayn Sharaf al-Din al-Musawi 



Al-Muraja'at 214 
Shi'i-Sunni dialogue 

so, they shaved his beard, moustache, eyebrows, and head; they beat him, imprisoned him, 
then they expelled him from Basra. They were fought by Hakim ibn Jablah, with a group 
of his tribe 'Abd Qays, of whom he was chief. Hakim was a man of wisdom, discretion, 
and prestige, and he was followed by a group of Banu Rabija who refused to cease 
fighting till each and every one of them was martyrded, including Hakim, in addition to 
his most honourable son, his brave brother, and Basra fell in the hands of the invading 
army. When v Ali (as) came, he had to face "Ayesha's army, and so did the Greater Camel 
Battle take place. The details of both battles are preserved in books of history written by 
Ibn Jarir, Ibn al-Athir, and in many others. 

[31 As quoted by trustworthy chroniclers such as Abul-Faraj al-Asfahani at the conclusion 
of his discussion oPAli in his bookMaqatil al-Talibiyyin. 

[41 As quoted by al-Bukhari about her in his section on the Prophet's (pbuh) sickness and 
demise, page 62, Vol. 3, of hisSahih. 

[51 This statement in particular, i.e. Ibn v Abbas saying that v Ayesha does not wish him any 
good, is left out by al-Bukhari who stops his quotation at its preceding statements, 
following his customary habit in such situations, but many authors of books of tradition 
have quoted it through their authentic reporters. Consider what Ibn SaM records on page 
29, Section Two, Vol. 2, of his Tabaqat, where he cites a chain of narrators including 
Ahmed ibn al-Hajjaj, "Abdullah ibn Mubarak, Younus, Mu'ammar, al-Zuhri, "Ubaydullah 
ibn Atbah ibn Mas'ud, whose sources end with Ibn 'Abbas. Reporters of this hadith are 
considered trustworthy according to the consensus of scholars. 

[6_1 As quoted by al-Bukhari at the beginning of his treatise on wills in his Sahih, page 83, 
Vol. 2. It is also quoted by Muslim in his section on the record of the [Prophet's] will, 
page 10, Vol. 2, of his Sahih. 

[7_[Mu v ammar quotes Qatadah saying that v Ali (as) had taken care, on behalf of the 
Prophet (pbuh), of certain matters after his demise, most of which was a debt estimated at 
five hundred thousand dirhams; so, refer to this hadith on page 60, Vol. 4, of Kanz al- 
^Ummal, and it is hadith number 1 170 among the ones which he narrates. 

[81 As quoted by al-Bukhari at the and of his chapter on Khaybar's campaign in his Sahih, 
page 37, Vol. 2. 

[9J This is quoted verbatim by Muhammad ibn Ismail al-Bukhari in his section on 
generosity towards envoys in his bookAl- Jihad wal-Siyar, page 118, Vol. 2, of his Sahih. 

r 101 Refer to it in the chapter dealing with rewarding the emissaries on page 118, Vol. 2, 
of Al- Jihad wal-Siyar. 



Letter 75 



Sayyid 'Abd al-Husayn Sharaf al-Din al-Musawi 



Al-Muraja'at 215 
Shi'i-Sunni dialogue 



I Mother of the Believers is not Ruled by Emotions, 

II The Pleasant and the Ugly are Denied by Reason, 

III Why Oppose the Claim of the Mother of Believers? 



Safar 17, 1330 

1) The axis upon which your argument, regarding the mother of the believers in her frank 
hadith denying a will to "Ali, revolves is two folded: 

One is your allegation that her biased indisposition against the Imam bids her to deny the 
will. Our rebuttal is that those who are familiar with her life style deny the allegation that 
she yields to emotion while narrating hadith about the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon 
him and his progeny, or that she seeks a special interest; so, she cannot be accused while 
quoting the Prophet's hadith, albeit if the subject matter of such hadith is someone she likes 
or someone she does not. God forbid that interests dominate her mind to the extent that she 
lies while quoting hadith from the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his progeny, 
preferring to promote her own interest rather than telling the truth. 

2) The other is that reason alone refuses your claim that this hadith is authentic, for it is 
neither logical nor permissible to conclude that the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him 
and his progeny, would leave the religion of Allah, the Exalted and the Sublime, in its 
cradle, while Allah's servants are following a new creed, without having made a will 
instructing them regarding their affairs. The answer to your claim is that this matter is based 
on rational goodness and ugliness, and the Sunnis disclaim it, for reason according to their 
judgment does not at all determine whether something is pleasant or ugly; rather, they 
believe that jurisdiction is the one that determines it. They believe that whatever the 
jurisdiction labels as good, they accept it as good, and whatever the jurisdiction describes as 
bad, they consider it as such, and reason cannot be relied upon at all in such matters. 

3) As regarding what you have mentioned at the conclusion of your Letter 74, 

concerning your rejection of the claim of the mother of believers that the Prophet died on 
her chest, we are not familiar with any hadith narrated by Sunnis which disproves it; so, if 
you are aware of any such hadith, please oblige and state it, Wassalam. 

Sincerely, 



Letter 76 

I Her Yielding to Sentiment, 
II Rationale Regarding the Pleasant and the Unpleasant, 



Sayyid 'Abd al-Husayn Sharaf al-Din al-Musawi 



Al-Muraja'at 216 
Shi'i-Sunni dialogue 



III Rejecting the Claim of the Mother of Believers, 
IV Preference of Umm Salamah's Hadith over Hers. 



Safar 19, 1330 

1) You have stated, while dealing with the first issue, that it is well known from the lady's 
life style that she does not yield to emotion, and that she does not seek any special interest. 
Please free your own self from the shackles of convention and sentimentality and carefully 
and studiously research her method of dealing with those whom she liked, as well as with 
those whom she did not like, for there you will see sentimentality most manifestly. Do not 
forget her dealing with 'Uthman ibn v Affan by word and deed,JT[her secret and public 
schemes against v Ali, Fatima, al Hasan and al Husayn (as), and her behaviour towards other 
mothers of the believers; nay, even with the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his 
progeny, himself; for in these there is a great deal of manifestations of her sentiments and 
interest seeking. 

Suffices you for a proof what we, proving how sentimentality tempts some people into 
misbehaving, have cited regarding the masters of conspiracy and purgery, out of animosity 
towards Lady Mary [the Copt, consort of the Prophet] and her son Ibrahim, peace be upon 
him, till Allah, the Almighty and the Exalted One, cleared them of such unjust accusations 
at the hands of the Commander of the Faithful (as), in a manner that is tangible and 
clear:[2_[ "And Allah turned the spiteful disbelievers back empty handed (Qur'an, 33:25)." If 
you desire, I may recount more proofs and state the fact that, following her own sentiments, 
she once said to the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his progeny, "It seems as if 
you reek of the odor of maghafir [odorous tiny flowers], "[3_1 so that he might not taste some 
honey at the house of the mother of believers Zainab bint Jahsh, may Allah be pleased with 
her. If a trivial reason like this permits her to address the Messenger of Allah, peace be 
upon him and his progeny, in such a manner, how can she be relied upon when she denies 
that he (pbuh) left a will for "Ali (as)? Do not also forget her yielding to sentiment when 
Asma' bint alNu'man was wedded to the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his 
progeny. She said to her: "When the Prophet (pbuh) weds a woman, he likes to hear her 
say: I seek refuge with Allah against you, '"[41 aiming thereby to turn the Prophet, peace be 
upon him and his progeny, against his wedding altogether and make him hate the poor 
woman, as if she allowed herself to attribute statements to the Messenger of Allah, peace be 
upon him and his progeny, as long as such statements served her own purpose, even when 
her purpose was petty or prohibitive. Once he, peace be upon him and his progeny, asked 
her to see how a particular woman was doing, and she informed him of the opposite of what 
she had observed, seeking her own self interest.[51 Once she complained about him, peace 
be upon him and his progeny, to her father, succumbing again to her sentiments, saying, 
"Do not now be biased, "[61 whereupon her father slapped her so hard that her clothes 
became soaked with her blood. Once, having felt angry with him (pbuh), she said: "... and 
you claim to be Allah's Messenger.. .,"[71 in addition to many such incidents the narrative of 
which would require a much larger space, and what we have quoted here must suffice. 

2) You have said, while commenting on the second point, that Sunnis do not subscribe to 
what is called rationally pleasant or unpleasant, etc. I think of you as being above making 



Sayyid 'Abd al-Husayn Sharaf al-Din al-Musawi 



Al-Muraja'at 217 
Shi'i-Sunni dialogue 

such a statement which is reminiscent of sophists who deny even concrete facts. Among our 
deeds are those of whose goodness we are quite sure, and they are praiseworthy and 
rewardable due to their own merits, such as charity and fairness, since we know what they 
are, while there are others with whose ugliness we also are familiar, and they demand 
repudiation and punishment because of their own evil, such as injustice and aggression, 
since they are what they are. The wise know that there is a need that necessitates such 
judgments, and the wise are as certain regarding these matters as they are certain that the 
single is half the pair. Simple common sense always determines the distinction between 
your treatment of someone who is good to you and of someone who is not. Reason 
determines the goodness of the first person's treatment to you and its being praiseworthy by 
you, as well as the ugliness of the second and its being worthy of renunciation and 
punishment. Whoever doubts this is a rebel against his own reason. 

Had the goodness or the evil of what we have mentioned here been matters of the 
legislative code, then they would not have been adopted and implemented by those who 
denied all divine codes such as atheists and secular rulers. In spite of their denial of 
religion, the latter still condone equity and goodness, determining thereupon their praise 
and rewards, without doubting at all the ugliness of injustice or aggression, nor the 
necessity to denounce such deeds and to punish their doers. Their criterion in their 
judgment is nothing other than reason; so, talk no more about those who belittle reason and 
conscience, nor of those who deny what all wise men know, ruling in the contrary of what 
the human nature dictates, the nature which Allah, the Praised One, has created and 
embedded within His servants. He has enabled them thereby to realize facts that are 
discernable by their faculty of reason, just as He made them able to recognize matters 
through their senses and feelings. Their nature, then, demands that they should be able to 
rationally judge equity and the like as good, and injustice and its peers as ugly, just as being 
able to distinguish through the sense of taste between the sweetness of honey and the 
bitterness of colocynth [citrullus colocynthis], and through their sense of smell can they 
distinguish between the fragrance of musk [chenopodium botrys] and the stink of cadaver, 
and through their sense of touch can they distinguish between what is soft and what is 
rough, and through their faculty of seeing can they tell the difference between a pleasant 
and an ugly view, and through their faculty of hearing can they tell the difference between 
the music of the pipe and the braying of a donkey. Such is the nature which Allah has 
created: "He created people in such a way; indeed, there is no way anyone can change His 
creation; this is the straight religion, though most people do not know (30:30)." 

The AsrTaris desired to exaggerate the power of faith in the legislative system and the 
attitude towards a total submission to its judgment; therefore, they denied the judgment of 
the wise, saying that there is no judgment other than what is legislated. Thus did they 
become oblivious of the absolute rational theory stating that "Whatever a wise person 
decides should be the decision of the legislator," and heedless of the fact that they by doing 
so in fact left no excuse for their own selves, thus discarding any criterion whereby they 
might ascertain a legislative code or discard it altogether. This is so due to the fact that to 
arrive at such a conclusion through legislative proofs is like running in a circle, and no 
pretext can be applied therewith. Had there been no authority for reason, implementing 
tradition or consecutively reported hadith would have been rejected. Nay! Had there been 
no intellect, nobody would have worshipped Allah nor come to know Him. Expounding in 
this subject has been recorded in a library containing works of our renown scholars. 



Sayyid 'Abd al-Husayn Sharaf al-Din al-Musawi 



Al-Muraja'at 218 
Shi'i-Sunni dialogue 

3) As regarding the claim of the mother of the believers that the Prophet, peace be upon 
him and his progeny, died on her chest, it is a claim which we reject based upon sahihs 
sequentially reported by members of the purified progeny (as). Refer to what others have 
stated as quoted by Ibn Sa'd. He quotes 'Ali (as) saying: "The Messenger of Allah, peace 
be upon him and his progeny, during his ailment [preceding his demise], said: 'Fetch me 
my brother,' so I came to him and he asked me to come closer, and so did I; thereupon, he 
reclined on me. He continued reclining on me thus and talking to me, so much so that some 
of his saliva fell on me, then the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his progeny, 
breathed his last;" as stated on page 51, Part Two, Vol. 2, of the author's Tabaqat, in a 
section about those who said that the Messenger of Allah died in 'Ali's lap. It is hadith 
number 1107 on page 55, Vol. 4, ofKanz al-^Ummal. Abu Na'im in his Hilyat al-Awliya', 
Abu Ahmed al Fardi in his Naskh, and many other authors of books of traditions have all 
quoted 'Ali (as) saying: "The Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his progeny, 
taught me," meaning during that sickness, "a thousand doors each one of which leads to a 
thousand others." It is hadith number 6009 quoted at the end of page 392, Vol. 6, ofKanz 
al-^Ummal. Whenever v Umer ibn al Khattab was asked about anything regarding these 
matters, he would say nothing other than: "Ask 'Ali, since he is the one who can handle it." 

Jabir ibn 'Abdullah al Ansari is quoted saying that KVb al Ahbar once asked v Umer: "What 
were the last words of the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his progeny?" 'Umer 
answered: "Ask 'Ali." Ka'b did so, and 'Ali (as) said: "I let the Messenger of Allah, peace 
be upon him and his progeny, recline his head on my flanks till he finally uttered: 'Prayers! 
[i.e. uphold prayers] Prayers!" Ka v b said: "This, indeed, is the call of all prophets, and for 
this purpose are they sent." Then Ka'b asked 'Umer who gave the ceremonial funeral bath 
to the Prophet's corpse, and his answer was again: "Ask 'Ali." When KVb asked 'Ali (as), 
'Ali answered that it was he who did so, as stated by Ibn Sa'd on page 51, Part Two, Vol. 2, 
of Tabaqat, and it is hadith 1 106 in Kanz al-^Ummal quoted on page 55, Vol. 4. Ibn 'Abbas 
was asked once: "Have you seen when the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his 
progeny, died, if his head was on anyone's lap?" He answered: "He died reclining on 'Ali's 
chest." It was said to him that 'Urwah narrates a tradition from "Ayesha saying that he 
(pbuh) died reclining on her chest, and Ibn 'Abbas denied it, asking the person who put the 
question forth: "Do you believe it?! By Allah, the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him 
and his progeny, died reclining his head on 'Ali's chest, and Ali is the one who gave him his 
bath," as quoted by Ibn Sa'd on the same page mentioned above, and it is hadith number 
1 108 of the ones enumerated in Kanz al-^Ummal, page 55, Vol. 4. Ibn Sa'd cites Imam Abu 
Muhammad 'Ali ibn al Husayn Zainul 'Abidin (as) saying: "The Messenger of Allah, peace 
be upon him and his progeny, breathed his last while his head was in 'Ali's lap," as quoted 
by Ibn Sa'd on page 51. 

Traditions documenting this subject are consecutively reported from all Imams of the 
purified progeny (as). Many of those who opted to deviate from their path admit that, too, 
so much so that Ibn Sa'd has quoted al Sha'bi saying: "The Messenger of Allah, peace be 
upon him and his progeny, passed away while his head was in "Ali's lap; and it was v Ali 
who gave him his [funeral] bath," as mentioned on the page referred to above in AlTabaqat. 
The Commander of the Faithful, peace be upon him, used to declare the same publicly; 
therefore, you may refer to his statement in one of his sermons where he says: "Custodians 
of the hadith among the companions of the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his 
progeny, know very well that I never hesitated to implement the commandments of Allah, 
nor lagged in discharging the orders of His Messenger, not even for one hour. I, by the 



Sayyid 'Abd al-Husayn Sharaf al-Din al-Musawi 



Al-Muraja'at 219 
Shi'i-Sunni dialogue 

Grace of Allah, on many occasions risked my own life defending his, when even heroes 
retreated and feet slowed down, and he (pbuh) breathed his last while his head rested on my 
chest, and even his saliva fell on my hand, whereupon I rubbed it on my face. I took care of 
washing his corpse, the angels assisting me, and the house and its courtyards became full of 
the noise of angels descending and ascending..., and I never ceased hearing their prayers 
unto him, till we buried him; so, who is more worthy of him alive or dead than I?" as stated 
at the conclusion of page 196, Vol. 2, of Nahjul Balaghah, and on page 590, Vol. 2, of Ibn 
al Hadid's Shark Nahjul Balaghah. 

So is his soliloquy when he, peace be upon him, was burying the Mistress of all Women, 
peace be upon her. He said: 

"Peace be upon you, O Messenger of Allah, from me and from your daughter who has 
come now to be your neighbour, rushing to reunite with you... My patience, O Messenger 
of Allah, about the death of your chosen one has run out, and my consolation has waned 
and withered. Deep, indeed, is my grief for being separated from you, and great is the 
calamity, while the extent of your grief is a source for consolation, for I laid you to sleep in 
the tomb of your grave, after your soul had parted from your body that was resting on my 
chest; therefore, we are God's, and unto Him is our return," 

up to the end of his statement which is stated at the end of page 207, Vol. 2, of Nahjul 
Balaghah, and on page 590, Vol. 2, ofSharh Nahjul Balaghah by Ibn Abul Hadid. Umm 
Salamah has also narrated an authentic hadith saying: "By the One by Whom alone do I 
swear, "Ali was the closest to the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) upon his death. We [she and 
Ali] visited him one afternoon, and he happily and repeatedly said: "Ali has come! "Ali has 
come!' Fatima (as) inquired whether "Ali had been sent on an errand. Later on, "Ali came 
again, and I thought that probably he needed to have some privacy with the Prophet (pbuh); 
so, we came out and sat at the door. I was closer to the door. The Messenger of Allah 
(pbuh) bent his head over "Ali and started talking to him confidentially, addressing him 
affectionately, till he passed away; so, "Ali was the last person to be with him before his 
death. "£81 

Abdullah ibn "Umer narrates the following: 

"During his sickness, the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his progeny, asked 
that his brother be fetched; so, Abu Bakr came in, but he turned away from him and 
reiterated his request. This time "Uthman was brought in, but he turned away from him, too. 
Then "Ali was called in his presence. The Prophet (pbuh) covered him with his own robe 
and reclined on him. When he came out of his room, people asked him what the Prophet 
(pbuh) had said, and he answered: "He taught me a thousand subjects each one of which 
leads to a thousand others.'" T91 

You know that this hadith portrays a behaviour typical of prophets, while the other one 
portrays a man ruled by his lust. If a shepherd dies on his wife's chest, between her chin and 
navel, or on her thigh..., having laxed in looking after his herd, he would surely be labelled 
as wreckless and irresponsible. May Allah forgive the mother of the believers. I wish that 
she, while denying "Ali such a will, had attributed the denial to her father, whom she thinks 
is more worthy of such a will, but her father was already in the army raised by the 
Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his progeny, under his own honourable 



Sayyid 'Abd al-Husayn Sharaf al-Din al-Musawi 



Al-Muraja'at 220 
Shi'i-Sunni dialogue 

patronage; he was in Usamah's army which was then camping at Jurf. Anyhow, the claim 
that he (pbuh) died in her lap is attributed to nobody other than "Ayesha, whereas the claim 
of his demise, may I sacrifice my parents for his sake, is narrated through v Ali (as), Ibn 
"Abbas, Umm Salamah, "Abdullah ibn "Umer, al Sha v bi, v Ali ibn al Husayn (as), and all 
Imams of the progeny of Muhammad (as), thus making it more reliable and more fit of the 
personality of the Messenger of God (pbuh). 

4) Had 'Ayesha's hadith been disproved by Umm Salamah alone, the latter's hadith would 
have been preferred over hers for many reasons besides the ones mentioned above, 
Wassalam. 

Sincerely, 

Sh 



m Refer to page 77, Vol. 2, of Shark Nahjul Balaghah by the Mu'tazilite scholar, and 
pages 457 and its succeeding pages of the same volume, and you will find her conduct 
towards 'Uthman, v Ali and Fatima depicting sentimentality in its most manifest forms. 

[2J Whoever wishes to be familiar with the details of this calamity must research the 
biography of Lady Mary [or Mariyya, the Copt, wife of the Prophet, pbuh], peace be upon 
her, on page 39, Vol. 4, of al-Hakim's Al-Mustadrak, or to hisTalkhis by al-Thahbi. 

[31 From what al-Bukhari has quoted in his explanation of Surat al-Tahrim in his Sahih, 
page 136, Vol. 3; so, refer to it and be amazed. There are several ahadith quoted from 
v Umer stating that the two women who conspired against the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) 
were 'Ayesha and Hafsa. There is a lengthy hadith dealing with this issue. 

[41 As quoted by al-Hakim in his biography of Asma' in hisSahih Al-Mustadrak, page 37, 
Vol. 4, and is quoted by Ibn Sa v d who discusses her biography on page 104, Vol. 8, of 
hisTabaqat, and the incident is very well known. It is narrated in the biography of Asma' by 
both authors of IstPab and Al-Isabah, and it is quoted by Ibn Jarir and others. 

[5_L The details of this incident are preserved in the books of traditions and history; so, refer 
to page 294, Vol. 6, of Kanz al-^Ummal, or page 115, Vol. 8, of Ibn Sard's Tabaqat, where 
he also states the biography of Sharaf daughter of Khalifah. 

[6_1 This issue is quoted by the authors of books of tradition and history; so, refer to hadith 
number 1020 of the ones narrated vaKanz al-^Ummal, page 116, Vol. 7, and it is quoted by 
al-Ghazali in the third section of his treatise on marriage on page 35, Vol. 2, of Ihya'ul- 
^Ulum. It is also quoted in section 94 of his book Mukashafatul Qulub, at the conclusion of 
page 238. 

[71 As quoted by al-Ghazali in both sections of the books cited above. 

[81 This hadith is quoted by al-Hakim at the beginning of page 139, Vol. 3, of his 
authentic Al-Mustadrak, succeeded by his comment: "This hadith is authentic, but they 



Sayyid 'Abd al-Husayn Sharaf al-Din al-Musawi 



Al-Muraja'at 221 
Shi'i-Sunni dialogue 

[Bukhari and Muslim] did not publish it." Al-Thahbi, too, has admitted its authenticity 
when he quoted it in his Talkhis al-Mustadrak. It is also quoted by Ibn Abu Shaybah in 
his Sunan, and it is hadith number 6096, page 400, Vol. 6, in Kanz al-^Ummal. 

[91 This is quoted by Abu YaTi through a chain of narrators including Kamil ibn Talha, Ibn 
Lahrah, Hay ibn v Abdul-Maghafiri, Abu v Abdul-Rahman al-Habli, ending with "Abdullah 
ibn "Umer. It is quoted by Abu Na v im in his Hilyat al-Awliya', by Abu Ahmed al-Fardi in 
his own version as stated on page 392, Vol. 6, of Kanz al-^Ummal. Al-Tabrani, in his 
book Al- Tafsir al-Kabir, has stated that when the Ta'if campaign was underway, the 
Prophet (pbuh) took his time in confiding with "Ali, so much so that when Abu Bakr passed 
by them, he said: "O Messenger of Allah! Your confidential talk with v Ali has lasted for 
quite some time." He (pbuh) said: "It is not I who has confided in him; it is Allah..." This is 
hadith number 6075, page 399, Vol. 6, of Kanz al-^Ummal. He often used to sit with 'Ali 
(as) and confide in him. Once 'Ayesha entered and found them engaged in a confidential 
conversation. Said she: "O 'AH! I spend one day out of nine [in the company of my 
husband]; so, why don't you, son of Abu Talib, leave me alone on that day?" The Prophet's 
face immediately showed the redness of anger. Refer to this incident at the beginning of 
page 78, Vol. 2, ofSharh Nahjul Balaghah by al-Hamidi. 



Letter 77 

Why Prefer Umm Salamah's Hadith to 'Ayesha's? 

Safar 20, 1330 

As if your preference of Umm Salamah's hadith to that of v Ayesha, may Allah be 
pleased with them both, according to what you have stated, is not sufficient, you 
went a step further to claim that the reasons for such a preference are more than 
what you have already indicated. What are these reasons? State them, may Allah 
have mercy on you, no matter how many, and do not leave any, for our aim is to 
research and learn, Wassalam. 

Sincerely, 

S 



Letter 78 

More Reasons for Preferring Umm Salamah's Hadith 



Sayyid 'Abd al-Husayn Sharaf al-Din al-Musawi 



Al-Muraja'at 222 
Shi'i-Sunni dialogue 



Safar 22, 1330 

Not only did Lady Umm Salamah believe wholeheartedly in the great Book of Allah, 
which distinguishes between right and wrong and enjoins repentance to Allah Almighty, as 
the Holy Qur'an testifies,JT[ she is not rebuked in the Qur'an for insubordination to the 
Prophet nor because of her supporting the enemies of his wasi,£2_[ nor did Allah, Gabriel, 
the true believers, and the angels, all side by His Prophet against her, nor did Allah 
threaten to divorce her and compensate His Prophet with a better wife than her,£3_[ nor did 
He bring the example of the wives of Nuhh and Lut as being in her own category ,[41 nor 
did she try to instigate the Prophet to make unlawful unto himself that which Allah has 
made lawful unto him,[51nor did the Prophet (pbuh) preach once and point to her 
residence saying: "Right there is the dissension, disunity, and discord...; from there will the 
devil's horn come out,"£61nor did her manners permit her to stretch her legs before the 
Prophet while performing the rite of prayers, thus showing disrespect to him and to the rite 
of prayers, without removing them from the place of his prostration till he beckoned her to 
do so, then when he beckoned her, she lifted her leg till he stood up, then she put it down 
again... !JT[ 

This is how she was. As if she did not scandalize and arouse people against "Uthman, 
calling him "Na'thal," saying, verbatim, "Uqtulu Nathal faqad kafar!" ("Kill Na'thal, for 
he has tumedkafir [disbeliever]. "£81 As if she did not go out of her house, after having 
been commanded by Allah Almighty to settle therein,£9_[ ride her camel v Askar and lead an 
army, T 101 descending a hill or ascending a mountain. Yet she did not yield to advice but 
insisted on leading the army which she had raised to fight the Imam. lTll Her statement 
that the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) died on her chest, therefore, is as good as her statement 
claiming that the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) saw a few Sudanese men playing at their 
mosque with their shields and spears, and he supposedly asked her if she liked to have a 
look at them, to which invitation she responded in the affirmative. 'Ayesha goes on to say: 
"He let me stand behind him, my cheek on his, and said: "O Sons of Arfada, keep on!'" 
supposedly encouraging them to play so that the lady mighty be entertained, till he asked 
her if she saw enough. Upon saying "Yes," he told her to leave. [ 121 And it is similar to her 
other story in which she claims: "The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) came in once when I had 
two concubines singing for me excitingly. He lay down on the bed. Abu Bakr entered and 
rebuked me saying: v Do I hear Satan's pipe being played in the presence of the Messenger 
of Allah?!' The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) approached him and told him to leave them 
alone. "IT 31 

Yet similar to it is another story. She says: "The Prophet raced with me once and I outran 
him. We kept doing so for years during which I gained weight, and when he outran me, he 
said: "This [game] cancels that!'" as quoted by Imam Ahmed in v Ayesha's hadith on page 
39, Vol. 6, of his Musnad. Or like her statement: "I used to play with girls, and some of my 
friends would come to play with me, and the Messenger of Allah used to let them in so that 
I would play with them," which is quoted by Imam Ahmed who discusses "Ayesha on page 
75, Vol. 6, of his Musnad. Or like yet another story of hers quoted by Ibn Abu Shaybah, 
and it is hadith number 1017 of the ahadith narrated by Ibn Abu Shaybah in Vol 7 of Kanz 
al-^Ummal: "I have acquired seven merits no woman, other than Mary daughter of 
'Umran, was endowed with: The angel of revelation descended in my own form; the 



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Messenger of Allah married me as a virgin whom no man ever touched before; the 
revelation descended upon him while we were having intercourse; he loved me more than 
any other woman; several verses of the Qur'an were revealed on my behalf that almost 
caused the nation to perish; I saw Gabriel while none of the other wives of the Prophet saw 
him besides me; and he breathed his last in my house while nobody was there except I and 
the angel of death. " [ 141 Other "ahadith" which she has narrated go in more details about 
her "merits," all falling in the same pattern. 

As regarding Umm Salamah, suffices her for a merit her loyalty to her wali and her 
Prophet's wasi. She was well-known for her terse opinion and great intellect, her strong 
faith, her suggestion on the Day of Hudaybiya which testified to her intellectual prowess, 
her wise judgment, and her lofty status; may Allah have mercy and blessings upon her, 
Wassalam. 

Sincerely, 

Sh 



m This is a reference to the following verse in Surat al-Tahrim: "If you both repent to 
Allah, then your hearts have submitted to Allah." 

[21 Her insubordination to the vicegerent is manifested by her denial of the existence of the 
Prophet's will to him, and by bearing grudge towards him as long as he lived. As regarding 
her insubordination to the Prophet (pbuh), and Allah's readiness to side with His Prophet 
(pbuh) against her, this is proven by the verse saying: "If they become insubordinate to 
him, then (suffices him that) Allah is his Mawla, and so are Gabriel and the righteous 
among the believers, and even the angels support him (Qur'an, 66:4)." 

[31 This hadith and the one that precedes it is a reference to the verse "It could be that if he 
divorces you, his Lord will bless him with wives better than you, submitting to Allah, truly 
believing in Him." 

[4_1 This is a reference to the statement of the Almighty: "Allah has struck for those who 
disbelieved the example of the wife of Nuh and the wife of Lut," to the end of the chapter. 

[51 This is a reference to the verse: "O Messenger! Why do you make unlawful what Allah 
has made lawful unto you, seeking to please your wives (Qur'an, 66:1)?" 

[61 This is quoted by al-Bukhari in his section dealing with stories about what went on at 
the homes of the Prophet's wives in his dissertation on the issues of holy wars and the 
Prophet's biography in his Sahih. It also is on page 125, Vol. 2, following his chapter on 
the injunction of the khums and its payment. Its wording in Muslim's Sahih is as follows: 
"The Messenger of Allah came out of "Ayesha's house and said: "Satan's horn shall come 
out of this place;'" so refer to page 503 of its second volume [original Arabic text]. 

[71 Refer to Bukhari's Sahih, his section dealing with what deeds are lawful while 



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Shi'i-Sunni dialogue 



performing the prayers, page 143, Vol. 1. 



£81 Her scandalizing "Uthman and denouncing many of his actions, her calling him names, 
and her statement: "Kill Na'thal, for he has turned infidel," are hardly overlooked by any 
book containing such events and affairs. Suffices you what exists in the books of history 
by Ibn Jarir, Ibn al-Athir, and by others. Some individuals denounced her behaviour and 
composed poetry in this regard such as: 

You started something and schemed, 

Like winds blown and rain streamed; 

You ordered them to slay the Imam, 

Claiming he reneged from Islam... 

Up to the conclusion of these verses which are quoted on page 80, Vol. 3, of Ibn al- 
Athir's Al-Kamil, after reference was made as to how the Battle of the Camel started. 

£91 That is, when the Almighty says: "And remain at your homes, and do not decorate your 
selves as you used to do during the days of jahiliyya (Qur'an, 33:33)." 

r 101 The camel "Ayesha was riding during the Basra incident was called 'Askar. It was 
brought to her by YaTi ibn Umayyah, and it was huge, masculine. When she saw it, she 
liked it, but when she came to know that its name was 'Askar, she changed her mind and 
said: "Return it, for I have no need for it." She stated that the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) 
had informed her of such name and forbidden her from riding it; so, they changed its 
saddle and brought it back to her saying: "We have found another one for you, larger and 
stronger." Thus, she was pleased with it. This incident is mentioned by a number of writers 
of history and of biographies; so, refer to page 80, Vol. 2, of Shark Nahjul Balaghah by 
the Mu'tazilite scholar. 

fill The hadith in this regard is quite famous, and it is one of the signs of true prophethood 
and miracles of Islam. It has been summarized by Imam Ahmed ibn Hanbal while quoting 
"Ayesha's hadith in his Musnad, pages 52 and 97, Vol. 6. Hakim did likewise, quoting it on 
page 120, Vol. 3, of his authentic Mustadrak, and al-Thahbi admitted the same when he 
quoted it in his Talkhis al-Mustadrak. 

£121 This hadith about her is undisputed. It is quoted by both shaykhs in their sahihs; so, 
you may refer to Bukhari's Sahih, the beginning of his section on both K Iids, page 116, Vol. 
1, and refer to Muslim's Sahih, his section on permissible sports during the days of the eid, 
page 327, Vol. 1. Also refer to Ahmed' sMusnad, page 57, Vol. 6. 

r 1 31 This is quoted by al-Bukhari, Muslim, and Imam Ahmed from "Ayesha's hadith which 
we referenced in the footnote above. 

r 141 It is unanimously agreed upon that he (pbuh) died in the presence of v Ali (as), and that 
v Ali (as) was nursing him and aiding him; so, how can it be accurate to claim that he died 
while nobody was there except v Ayesha and the angel of death? Where were v Ali (as) and 



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Shi'i-Sunni dialogue 

"Abbas then? And where were Fatima (as) and Safiyya? Or where were the Prophet's 
consorts and all the descendants of Hashim? How did they leave him to "Ayesha alone? It 
is also quite obvious that Mary, peace be upon her, did not really possess any of the seven 
virtues the mother of believers attributes to her; so, what is the wisdom of her using her as 
the only exception? 



Letter 79 

Consensus Endorses al-Siddiq's Caliphate 

Safar 23, 1330 

If what you have said about the covenant and the will, as well as the clear texts, 
is proven accurate, then what can you say about the nation's consensus to 
nominate [Abu Bakr] al-Siddiq? Its consensus is an unequivocal proof that 
testifies to his statement (pbuh): "My nation's consensus shall never occur 
regarding anything wrong," and his statement, peace be upon him and his 
progeny, "My nation's word shall never be misleading;" so, what do you have to 
say about that? 

Sincerely, 

S 



Letter 80 

No Consensus 

Safar 24, 1330 

We say that the meaning of his (pbuh) statements: "My nation's consensus shall never 
occur regarding anything wrong," and "My nation's word shall never be misleading," is 
that he (pbuh) negates the error, or the misguidance, of the issue regarding which the 
nation arbitrates; thus, the nation will be reaching a unanimous endorsement in that issue's 
regard. This is the meaning of such traditions, and nothing else. As regarding the matter 
which is considered by a group of individuals of the nation who decided to carry it out, 
successfully forcing it even on those who had a say, their carrying it out does not prove its 
validity. The pledge of allegiance taken at the saqifa was not an issue regarding 
consultation; rather, it was something which was undertaken by the second caliph and by 
Abu "Ubaydah and a group of their friends, then they took by surprise those who actually 
had the authority to do and undo, assisted by contemporary circumstances. Thus did they 



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finally achieve what they had aspired. Abu Bakr himself declared that the oath of 
allegiance which he had received was conducted neither in accordance with consultation 
nor wisdom. He did so when he delivered a sermon at the dawn of his caliphate in which 
he apologized to the public saying: "The allegiance which I have received is a rash slip 
from the evil of which Allah has protected us, and there was a presentiment regarding 
dissension." riTUmer testified to the same fact in front of many eye-witnesses when he 
delivered a sermon from the pulpit of the Prophet's Mosque one Friday shortly before the 
conclusion of his reign, a sermon the news of which became widely publicized. Al- 
Bukhari has included it in his Sahih,\2[ and I would like to quote it for you here verbatim: 

"It has come to my knowledge that someone[31 has said that if 'Umer dies, he will swear 
the oath of allegiance to so-and-so; therefore, let nobody hesitate from saying that the oath 
of allegiance to Abu Bakr was a slip that was driven home, for it was exactly so, yet Allah 
protected us from the evil of its consequences... Whoever swears the oath of allegiance to 
someone prior to consulting others, doing so only out of fear of being killed if he did not, 
then he should not do it at all [and accept death instead]... [41 One of the rumours 
circulated about us when Allah took His Messenger (pbuh) away from us is that the Ansar 
differed from us in their views; they all assembled at the saqifa [shed] of Bani Sa'idah; 
besides them, v Ali (as) and al-Zubayr, and their followers, differed, too..." 

He continued to point out what had happened at the shed, the disputes and differences of 
opinion, the voices that rose out of concern for the safety of the religion, etc. It was under 
those circumstances that "Umer swore allegiance to Abu Bakr. 

It is a fact well-known by those who research the events that prevented the members of the 
Prophet's household (as), the custodians of the Message, from attending the allegiance 
[inauguration] ceremony. They were detained at 'Ali's house together with Salman, Abu 
Tharr al-Ghifari, al-Miqdad ibn al-Aswad al-Kindi, "Ammar ibn Yasir, al-Zubayr ibn al- 
Awwam, Khuzaymah ibn Thabit, Abu ibn Ka'b, Farwah ibn v Amr ibn Wadqah al-Ansari, 
al-Bara' ibn 'Azib, Khalid ibn Sa v d ibn al- v As al-Amawi, and many others. So, how can it 
be said that there was a consensus in spite of the fact that all these men, including 
Muhammad's progeny (as), who are to the nation like the head to the body, the eyes to the 
face, the descendants of the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) and the custodians of his 
knowledge, the ones who are peers only to and the companions of the Book of Allah, the 
arks of the nation's redemption, and the gates of its salvation, the nation's protection 
against straying, and the standard-bearers of its guidance, as we have proven 
above..., [51 did not attend? But their dealing requires no proof if conscientiously 
discerned. 

Both Bukhari and Muslim,[61 in their sahihs, in addition to many other renown 
traditionists and historians, have all proven the fact that v Ali (as) did not participate in the 
allegiance process, and that he did not reconcile and make peace except after the mistress 
of the ladies of the world (as) had joined her father (pbuh) [in Paradise], six months 
thereafter, compelled by the general Islamic interest during those very critical 
circumstances. The testimony to these facts comes from "Ayesha herself who says: "Al- 
Zahra' (as) boycotted Abu Bakr and did not speak to him after the demise of the 
Messenger of Allah (pbuh) till she died, and when v Ali (as) made peace with them, he 
accused them of depriving him of his place in the caliphate." This hadith, as you can see, 
does not mention anything about his swearing the oath of allegiance to them. How 



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thought-provoking his statement is when he addresses Abu Bakr thus: 

If you had argued with them, kinship claiming, 

Then others are closer to the Prophet and more deserving; 

And if through consultation you took control, 

How so when those with counsel were not there at all?! [71 

Al- V Abbas ibn "Abdul-Muttalib had used the same argument with Abu Bakr, as Ibn 
Qutaybah discusses him on page 16 of his book Al-Imama wal Siyasa, telling him once: 
"If you demanded what you demanded through kinship to the Messenger of Allah (pbuh), 
then you had confiscated our own. If you had demanded it due to your position among 
Muslims, then ours is a more prestigious than yours. If this affair is accomplished when 
the believers are pleased with it, then it cannot be so as long as we are displeased 
therewith." 

So; tell me where is the consensus you are talking about, having heard what the uncle of 
the Messenger of Allah (pbuh), the one who was his father's peer, stated, in addition to the 
statement of his cousin, brother and executor of his will, as well as the statements of all 
his household and kin? 

Sincerely, 

Sh 



JJJ This is quoted by Abu Bakr Ahmed ibn v Abdul- v Aziz al-Jawhari in his book Al- 
Saqifa and by Ibn Abul-Hadid on page 132, Vol. 1, of his Shark Nahjul Balaghah. 

[21 Refer to the sahih, his chapter on the stoning of the woman who becomes pregnant out 
of adultery if she gets married, page 119, Vol. 4. It is also quoted by several authors of 
books of tradition and history such as Ibn Jarir and al-Tabari who discuss the events of the 
year 1 1 in the tarikh [history] book of each, and it is transmitted by Ibn Abul-Hadid on 
page 122, Vol. 1, of his Sharh Nahjul Balaghah. 

[3_1 The one who is making a statement is Ibn al-Zubayr, and his statement is: "By Allah! 
As soon as 'Umer dies, I will swear the oath of allegiance to "Ali, for allegiance to Abu 
Bakr was a slip by the nation that safely passed by." 'Umer, therefore, was extremely 
angry, and he delivered the said sermon. This is stated by many of those who have 
commented on al-Bukhari. Refer to the explanation of this hadith in al-Qastalani's Sharh, 
page 352, Vol. 11, and you will find the author quoting al-Balathiri with regards to 
surnames, admitting the authenticity of this hadith according to its endorsement by both 
shaykhs. 

[41 In his commentary on this hadith, Ibn al-Athir has stated that the statement's gist is that 
they feared being murdered. The meaning of the whole hadith, therefore, is something 



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Al-Muraja'at 228 
Shi'i-Sunni dialogue 

like: "The allegiance must come as a result of consultation and consensus; so, if two men 
split from the group and one of them swears the fealty of allegiance to the other, then they 
both have departed from the group and consensus. If one receives the oath of allegiance, 
then he should not be one of them; rather, they both have to be isolated from the group 
that agrees to distinguish its own Imam from the rest. Otherwise, if one of them receives 
the oath of allegiance, after having committed a heinous act which caused the group to do 
without them, then there is no guarantee that both persons will commit murder." It is one 
of the dictates of the justice described by "Umer who passed such a judgment on himself 
and his friend just as he passed it on others. Prior to his said sermon, he had stated the 
following: "Swearing the oath of allegiance to Abu Bakr was a slip against whose evil 
Allah has protected us; so, you should kill whoever repeats it." This statement became 
extremely famous, and many narrators of historical events transmitted it, including scholar 
Ibn Abul-Hadid on page 123, Vol. 1, of his Shark Nahjul Balaghah. 

[51 Refer to Letter No. 6 and its following pages up to the end of Letter No. 12, and you 
will come to know the prestige meted to Ahl al-Bayt, peace be upon them. 

[61 Refer to al-Bukhari's Sahih, and read the last lines of his chapter on Khaybar's 
campaign on page 39, Vol. 3. Also refer to Muslim's Sahih, to his chapter on the Prophet's 
statement: "We do not leave behind us anything, for whatever we leave is for charity," in 
his treatise on holy wars and biographies on page 72, Vol. 2, and you will find the matter 
as we have detailed it. 

[71 Both of these poetic verses are included in Nahjul Balaghah. Ibn Abul-Hadid has said 
so while explaining them in his Sharh Nahjul Balaghah, page 319, Vol. 4, adding, "His 
statement is addressed to Abu Bakr, for Abu Bakr argued with the Ansar at the saqifa, 
saying: "We are the progeny of the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) and his nutshell;' so, when 
he argued about the allegiance, claiming that it was done by those who had a say, "AH (as) 
said: "As regarding your argument with the Ansar saying that you belong to the progeny 
of the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) and are among his kin, others are closer in kinship to 
him than you; as regarding your argument of being elected and that the masses are pleased 
with you, there many sahaba who were not present there; so, how can it be called 
consensus?'" Shaykh Muhammad "Abdoh has made two comments on these verses 
summarizing what Ibn Abul-Hadid has said while explaining them. 



Letter 81 

Consensus Concluded When Dispute Dissipated. 

Safar 28, 1330 

Sunnis do not deny the fact that the allegiance was not taken after consultation or 
serious consideration. Rather, they admit that it took place suddenly and unexpectedly. 
They do not deny going against the wish of the Ansar and their preference of Sa"d, nor 
in opposing the descendants of Hashim and their followers from the Muhajirun and 
Ansar who joined the Imam (as) in his boycott. But they say that the caliphate was 
finally vested upon Abu Bakr who was accepted by everyone as the Imam; dispute 



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Al-Muraja'at 229 
Shi'i-Sunni dialogue 



dissipated, hostilities halted, and everyone became determined to support al-Siddiq and 
provide him with counsel in secrecy and in public; therefore, they fought in his wars, 
they supported him when he concluded a peace treaty, and they carried out his orders. 
Nobody at all differed in that regard, thus a total consensus was finally reached, and the 
consignment of caliphate was accomplished; praise be to Allah for having united their 
word after their dissension, and for unifying their hearts after their discord, Wassalam. 

Sincerely, 

5 



Letter 82 

Consensus Was Not Concluded; Dissension Did Not Dissipate 



Safar 30, 1330 

Their consolidation in supporting al-Siddiq, and their providing him with counsel in 
secrecy and in public, is one thing; the validity of the consignment of the caliphate 
through consensus is quite another. They are not correlated judged by reason or 
tradition, for 'Ali and all the infallible Imams from his descendants (as) have a well- 
known policy in supporting the Islamic authority; it is the same whereby we worship 
Allah. I mention it here in answer to what you have stated. It may be summed up thus: 
They believe that the Muslim nation can never rise to glory except through a state that 
unites its populace, mends any crack in its structure, protects its borders, and safeguards 
its undertakings. Such a state cannot be established except by subjects who support it 
with their lives and possessions. If it is possible for such a state to be led by a legitimate 
statesman who represents in the true sense of the word the government of the Messenger 
of Allah, then he is the one to be assigned for such a responsibility rather than anyone 
else. But if this becomes impossible, and the government is usurped by someone else, 
then the nation has to support him in every issue upon which the dignity and fortitude of 
Islam hinges, and so do the protection of the borders of the Islamic state, and the 
safeguarding of its national security. 

It is not permissible to divide the Muslims or create discord among them by opposing 
him; rather, the nation has to treat him, albeit if he is a slave with amputated limbs, the 
treatment meted to rightful caliphs, entrusting him with the land's khiraj tax and his 
share thereof, the zakat of cattle and other items, etc. It has the right to take the same 
from him through the sale and purchase, as well as all means of property transfers, such 
as by way of awards, gifts, and the like. 

There is no doubt about the clearing of conscience of one who pays him liabilities, as 
though he is paying them to the Imam of truth, and the rightful caliph. This is the path 



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of 'Ali and the purified Imams from his descendants (as). The Messenger of Allah 
(pbuh) has said: "There will be after me favouritism, and unpleasant matters," as stated 
in one hadith narrated by 'Abdullah ibn Mas'ud which is quoted by Muslim on page 
118, Vol. 2, of his Sahih, and by many authors of sahihs and sunan. People asked him 
(pbuh): "O Messenger of Allah! What do you enjoin one of us who witnesses them to 
do?" He (pbuh) answered: "Perform your obligations, and pray Allah for the attainment 
of what rightfully belongs to you." Abu Tharr al-Ghifari, may Allah be pleased with 
him, is also quoted by Muslim in Vol. 2 of his Sahih as saying, "My friend the 
Messenger of Allah (pbuh) advised me to listen and to obey even [a ruler who is] a 
slave whose limbs are amputated." Salamah al-JuTi is quoted by Muslim and others 
asking the Messenger of Allah (pbuh): "O Messenger of Allah! Suppose we are ruled by 
those who require us to discharge our duties towards them while they themselves 
decline to grant us our rights, what do you advise us to do then?" He (pbuh) answered 
him saying, "Listen and obey, for they will bear the burden of their sins, and you will 
bear yours." In one particular hadith quoted by Muslim on page 120, Vol. 2, of 
his Sahih, which is narrated by all authors of books of traditions, Huthayfah al-Yemani, 
may Allah be pleased with him, quotes the Prophet (pbuh) saying: "There will be rulers 
after me who will neither guide according to my guidance, nor follow my Sunnah; and 
there will be among them men whose hearts are like those of the devils' clad in human 
form." Huthayfah asked him (pbuh): "What shall I do then, O Messenger of Allah, if I 
happen to witness that?" He (pbuh) answered: "You shall listen to the ruler and obey 
him; if he whips your back and confiscates your property, you will still have [no choice 
but] to listen and obey." Similar to this hadith is one narrated by Umm Salamah thus: 
"There will be [unjust] rulers over you, and you will either acknowledge [their being 
unjust] or deny it. Those who acknowledge shall be considered innocent, while those 
who deny it will be saved from chastisement. "£11 They asked him (pbuh): "Are we not 
supposed to fight them?" He answered: "No, as long as they uphold their prayers." 

Sahihs are consecutively reported in narrating the above quoted traditions, especially 
through the purified progeny (as). For this reason, the latter remained persevering as 
they saw eye-sores, and they kept tongue-tied, acting upon these sacred commandments 
and upon others whereby they were bound. They were enjoined to persevere while 
suffering as they felt forced to overlook eye-sores, safeguarding the unity of the nation, 
and keeping it intact. They abided by the gist of these texts while dealing with those 
who were entrusted with faring with the affairs of the Muslims. While being aware of 
the fact that they themselves were more worthy of being in their shoes, they tasted the 
bitterness of colocynth, hoping they might be able one day to lead them to the Right 
Path. The ascension of those individuals to power was more painful to them than the 
blows of sharp swords, yet they tolerated it only to fulfill the covenant, discharge the 
commitment, and carry out their duties as far as the Sharfa is concerned, favouring - 
while opposing such rulers - to prefer what is most important over what is more 
important. For this reason, the Commander of the Faithful (as) tried his best to provide 
counsel to all three caliphs, exerting himself in providing them with advice. 

Whoever acquaints himself with his policy during their epoch will come to know that 
he, having lost all hope to get his indisputable right to succeed the Messenger of Allah 
(pbuh), willingly took to reclusion, preferring to make asylum with those in authority. 
He did not fight them while seeing his promised throne in their grip, nor did he oppose 
them openly. He did so only in order to maintain the solidification of the nation and 



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Al-Muraja'at 231 
Shi'i-Sunni dialogue 



safeguard the creed, always keeping the religion's interest in mind, preferring the life 
hereafter to this one. He suffered from agonies which nobody else suffered. He was 
agonized by two calamities: the caliphate in its texts and commandments was earnestly 
pleading to him in a heart-rending voice on one hand, and, on the other hand, oppressive 
discord was warning him against a possible mutiny in the peninsula. There was a 
possible danger of bedouin Arabs renouncing their religion, thus annihilating the 
Islamic creed. The faith was being threatened by the hypocrites of Medina in whose 
nature hypocrisy was immersed, and who were aided by the hypocritical bedouins 
around them, according to the text of the Book (Qur'an). Nay, the latter party was even 
worse in disbelief and hypocrisy than the first, so much so that it was better they did not 
know the limits of what Allah had revealed to His Messenger (pbuh). 

The loss of the Prophet (pbuh) emboldened the latter, and Muslims became in the 
aftermath like frightened cattle in a winter night, surrounded by wolves and ferocious 
brutes. While their fellows were quite active in their attempts to wipe out the religion of 
Islam and crush the Muslims, the Romans, the Kisras and others were waiting in 
anticipation, to the end of the list of such thronging elements that bore grudge against 
Muhammad, the progeny of Muhammad, and the companions of Muhammad (pbuh). 
These parties bore animosity towards and felt jealous of the message of Islam; they 
desired to demolish its foundations, and undermining its might. In such endeavour, they 
would be very quick, seeing that they had their golden opportunity in the departure of 
the Prophet to his Supreme Companion. The chance had ripened then for them to make 
use of the chaos before Islam had recovered its strength and organization. It was then 
that the Commander of the Faithful (as) realized both dangers, and it was only natural 
that he would sacrifice his own right in order to sustain the religion of Islam, thus 
preferring the general interest to that of his own. 

This is how such confusion ended, and the dispute between him and Abu Bakr was 
suspended, for he dreaded nothing save the disunity of Muslims and was concerned only 
that the Muslims should have the upper hand. So, he, all members of his household, 
their supporters from the Immigrants and Ansar, remained patiently tongue-tied even as 
they saw eye-sores. His speech after the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) had departed is very 
frank in reflecting this attitude, and relevant reports are consecutive through the Imams 
of the purified progeny. 

But the head of the Ansar, Sa v d ibn "Abadah, never made asylum with the first two 
caliphs, and he was never seen in public accompanying either of them during an v Id 
celebration or on a Friday, and he never subscribed to their views, nor did he ever yield 
to their orders, till he was assassinated in Huran during the reign of the second caliph, 
and his assassins claimed that he was killed by the jinns. He made a memorable 
statement during the saqifa incident, but we see no need to quote it here. [21 

As regarding his friends such as Haban ibn al-Munthir[31 and other Ansaris, these 
succumbed unwillingly, yielding to pressure; so, do you consider the actions dictated by 
the fear of the sword or the burning by the fire[41 as a belief in the consignment of the 
allegiance? Or is it a testimony to such "consensus" implied in the statement of the 
Prophet (pbuh) saying "My nation shall never commit an error in its consensus of 
opinion"? Please state your verdict; may Allah reward you, Wassalam. 



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Sincerely, 
Sh 



JT[ This hadith is quoted by Muslim on page 122, Vol. 2, of hisSahih. The meaning of 
his phrase (pbuh) "Whoever knows it is innocent" is that whoever knew the abomination 
and identifies it as such will have a path leading to dissociation from its sin and 
punishment by changing it with his own hand or tongue, but if he cannot, then let him 
abhor it by his heart. 

[21 Sa v d ibn 'Abadah, Thabit's father, was one of those present at the taking of the 
allegiance at "Aqaba. He is also a participant in Badr and other battles. He was chief of 
al-Khazraj and their envoy, a generous man and a chief among the Ansar. His statement, 
to which we have referred, fills books of biographies and histories. Suffices you what 
Ibn Qutaybah has said in his treatise on Imamate and politics, Ibn Jarir al-Tabari in 
hisTarikh, Ibn al-Athir in his Al-Kamil, Abu Bakr Ahmed ibn 'Abdul-' Aiz al-Jawhari in 
his book Al-Saqifa, and others. 

[31 Habab was one of the chiefs of the Ansar and a hero of Badr and Uhud, a man of 
feats and a glorious record. He is the one who said: "I am [as strong and firm as] a 
wooden post rubbed by camels, and a sweet fruit very much coveted. I am the son of a 
lion in his own den; by Allah, if you so desire, we would go back to wage a war that 
would grind even youngsters." He said other much stronger statements, and we thought 
it would be wiser to refrain from quoting them here. 

[41 Their threat to v Ali to burn his house is proven by absolutetawatur. Consider what 
Imam Ibn Qutaybah has said at the beginning of his chapter on Imamate and politics, 
Imam al-Tabari in two places where he discusses the events of the year 1 1 A.H. in his 
famous Tarikh, Ibn "Abd Rabbih al-Maliki in his hadith of the saqifa as quoted in Vol. 
1, page 134, of Sharh Nahjul Balaghah] by al-Hamidi al-Hadidi, al-Mas v udi in Muruj 
al-Thahab quoting 'Urwah ibn al-Zubayr when the latter apologized on behalf of his 
brother 'Abdullah who almost started setting the houses of the descendants of Hashim 
on fire because they boycotted his allegiance, al-Shahristani who quotes al-Nizam while 
discussing the Nizami group in his bookA/-M//a/ wal-Nihal. Abu Mikhnaf has dedicated 
for the narratives related to the saqifa an entire book in which he details what we have 
summarized here, not to mention the fame mdtawatur of this hadith, in addition to these 
poetic verses by al-Hafiz Ibrahim which are famous as the ""Umeri poem": 

A statement v Umer said to "Ali; so think for a while; 

Its listener venerate, respect the speaker and bear: 

"Shall I burn your house and make of its ashes a pile 

Should you choose to be stubborn and not swear 



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The oath of allegiance, even if and while 

The Chosen One's daughter is inside there?" 

None other than Abu Hafs was the speaker 

Addressing Adnan's knight and protector... 

Thus did they treat the Imam (as) without whose agreement, consensus according to our 
view can never be binding; so, we ask all those who are fair-minded how can their 
"consensus" be binding upon us, since the case is as such? 



Letter 83 

Can You Compromise the Text's Accuracy With the Companions' 

Truthfulness? 



Rabful-Awwal 2, 1330 

Those who are endowed with a discreet insight and keen comprehension regard the 
companions as being above doing anything contrary to the wish of the Prophet (pbuh) in 
whatever he bids or forbids, neither do they permit anything other than such a policy. 
Therefore, they could not have heard the text regarding the Imam once, twice or thrice, 
then deviated therefrom. And how can you describe such companions to be truthful had 
they heard the text about him then refrained from following it? I do not think that you are 
able to compromise both [contradictory] situations, Wassalam. 

Sincerely, 

5 



Letter 84 

I Compromising the Text's Accuracy With Their Truthfulness, 

II Rationalizing the Imam's Reluctance to Demand his Right. 

RabPul-Awwal 5, 1330 

1) Our legacy of traditions, which has been left to us by those companions, indicates that 
latter adhered to all texts as long as they were relevant to the faith, concerned about 
matters related to the Hereafter, such as his (pbuh) hadith regarding the obligatory fast du 

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the month of Ramadan rather than any other month, facing only the qibla while performing 
the obligatory prayers, the number of obligatory prayers during the day or the night, the 
number of rak v at [prostrations] in each, as well as how to perform them, his hadith that the 
ceremonialtowa/' around the House [Ka'ba] is seven times, and such ahadith aiming at the 
achievement of divine rewards in the life to come. 

As regarding his texts that deal with political matters such as succession, government, 
administration, legislation, invasions, etc., they did not see that they had to follow or adhere 
to them in all circumstances; rather, they allowed themselves to practice a measure of 
research, discretion, and ijtihad. If they saw in opposing such texts a promotion of their 
cause, or an advantage to their power, they would oppose them. They may even seek to 
please the Prophet by doing just so. They were convinced that the Arabs would neither 
accept 'Ali's rule nor follow a text in such a matter, since he pressured them a great deal 
while enforcing the Will of Allah in their regard, spilling their blood with his sword in while 
promoting the Word of Allah, dismantling all their masks while defending the truth, till 
Allah's Will became dominant in spite of every infidel. So, they would not obey him 
willingly, nor would they follow such texts except by force, having attributed to him the 
spilling of all blood in the way of Islam during the life-time of the Prophet (pbuh), according 
to their custom of retaliation in such circumstances, for they saw him as the only candidate 
upon whom they would seek revenge, especially since seeking revenge is usually done to the 
best among the foe's tribesmen, and the choicest of its clans. They knew that he was the best 
among the Hashimites, after the Messenger of Allah (pbuh), without any doubt or dispute. 
For this reason, the Arabs waited for a chance to annihilate him; they sought means to deal 
with him, and they bore a great deal of grudge against him and his descendants, till they 
leaped over them in a way that became well-known everywhere, and its shame filled the 
earth and the skies. 

There is another reason: Quraysh in particular and the Arabs in general used to criticize 'Ali's 
might in dealing with the enemies of Allah, the forcefulness of his method of dealing with 
those who trespass the limits of Allah or permit what He prohibited. They feared his 
enjoining right and forbidding wrong; they dreaded his justice in dealing with the subjects 
and his equity in every public issue. Nobody hoped for his concession nor dreamed of his 
compromise. The mighty and powerful are weak till he executes justice on them, and the 
weak and downtrodden are strong and dignified when he grants them what is rightfully 
theirs. So, how can the Arabs willingly submit to a man like that while "They are the 
foremost in disbelief and hypocrisy, so much so that they ought not know the limits of what 
Allah has revealed unto His Messenger ( Qur'an, 9:97)," and "Among the people of Medina 
are those who are stubborn in hypocrisy; you [O Our Prophet Muhammad] do not know 
them; We know them (Qur'an, 9:101), and among them are those who do not hesitate to 
commit anything insane. 

There is still another reason. Quraysh in particular and Arabs in general used to envy him for 
the favours Allah bestowed upon him. He has been uplifted by Allah, His Messenger and the 
wise, to a sublime status due to his knowledge and feats; peers fall short of their attainment; 
those qualified hesitated to attempt to compete with him. He has, through his feats and 
attributes, won a status from Allah and His Messenger coveted by the hopeful, and a prestige 
unattainable by the most ambitious. For these reasons, jealousy filled the hearts of the 
hypocrites. The spiteful, ungrateful, and unequitable hypocrites, in addition to opportunists, 



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all agreed not to discharge their responsibility towards him; therefore, they left these texts 
behind their backs, entrusting them to oblivion. 

It was what it was, I shall never discuss the views; 

So, entertain good thoughts; do not ask about the news. 

Also, Quraysh and all other Arabs had by then coveted political dominance for their own 
respective tribes, and their ambition extended thereto. For this reason, they decided to discard 
the covenant and were determined to ignore the will. So, they all collaborated to forget the 
text, pledging not to mention it at all. They all agreed to divert the caliphate, since its 
inception, from its rightful candidate, who was assigned to it by their Prophet, and make it 
through election and choice, so that each one of their quarters might have a justification for 
hoping to attain it, though after a while. Had they followed the text and advanced v Ali to 
succeed the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his progeny, such caliphate would 
never have left his purified progeny, since he had equated his progeny on the Ghadir Day, as 
well as on other occasions, to the perfect Book of Allah, describing them as models for the 
wise till the Day of Judgment. The Arabs would not have been able to tolerate the 
confinement of caliphate to one particular dynasty, especially when all their tribes coveted it, 
and it was sought by all those who wanted it for their own camps. 

It has, indeed, withered, weakened, and waned: 

A skeleton unwanted even by one whose funds drained. 

Also, whoever knows the history of Quraysh and the Arabs at the dawn of Islam would come 
to know that they did not yield to the Hashimite Prophethood except after being annihilated, 
being powerless; so, how could they have agreed that Hashim's descendants should 
monopolize both prophethood and caliphate? v Umer ibn al-Khattab once said to Ibn v Abbas 
in a dialogue between them: "Quraysh hated that both prophethood and caliphate should be 
confined to your household for fear you might oppress other people. "JJJ 

2) The good ancestors then could not force those folks to implement the spirit of the text for 
fear they might rebel if they did, and in apprehension of the dire consequences of disputing 
regarding such an issue. Hypocrisy surfaced immediately after the demise of the Messenger 
of Allah, peace be upon him and his progeny, and the might of the hypocrites increased by 
such a loss. The dark souls of the infidels grew darker, the foundations of the faith weakened, 
and the hearts of the Muslims waned, so much so that they became like frightened cattle in a 
winter night, surrounded by wolves and ferocious beasts. One group among the Arabs 
reneged, while another contemplated doing so, as we explained in Letter No. 82 above. 
Under such circumstances, "Ali (as) feared dire consequences resulting from rushing matters 
if he took upon himself to take charge, knowing how people's hearts were, as we have 
described, with the hypocrites being what they were, biting their fingers in rage, and the 
renegades as we have clarified, while the polytheist nations were just as we have previously 
indicated. The Ansars had differed and deviated from the Muhajirun, saying, "Let us choose 
our ruler and you choose yours, etc." His concern about the faith prompted him to refrain 
from demanding the caliphate for himself and overlooking certain matters, knowing that 
demanding the caliphate under such circumstances would endanger the nation and jeopardize 



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the safety of the faith; so, he opted to refrain just in preference of the interest of Islam and 
that of the common welfare, of the good of the future to that of the present. 

He, therefore, remained at home, refusing to give his allegiance till he was forced to leave, 
just to silently enforce his own right, silently defying those who forsook him. Had he rushed 
to give his allegiance, he would have had neither argument nor pretext, but he, by doing so, 
safeguarded both religion and his own right to rule the believers, thus proving the originality 
of his mind, his overwhelming clemency, his patience and preference of the public interest to 
that of his own. Any soul that gives so much while facing so much affliction is sure to be 
rewarded by Allah with divine rewards. His objective was indeed to seek the pleasure of 
Allah in that epoch as well as in the epochs to come. 

As regarding the three caliphs and their supporters, these have interpreted the text regarding 
his succession in the manner which we have indicated above. This should not surprise us at 
all once we come to know how they interpret and personally comprehend other texts of the 
Prophet, peace be upon him and his progeny, regarding issues such as succession, 
government, administration, legislation, etc. They probably did not consider them to be 
religious issues; so, it was easy for them to practically oppose them. When they finally took 
charge, they stuck to a policy of overlooking such texts, promising to punish those who 
would mention or even allude to them. When they succeeded in enforcing order, the 
dissemination of the religion of Islam, the invasion of nations, and the acquisition of wealth 
and power, they did not become corrupt in their own personal desires, and that elevated them 
and caused them to win people's respect, confidence, and love. People followed suit in 
forgetting about that text, and when Banu Omayyah succeeded them, the latter's main 
objective became the extinction and annihilation of the Prophet's household. In spite of all 
this, a few correct texts have reached us and have been protected in authentic books of 
traditions; these suffice for proof; praise be to Allah, Wassalam. 

Sincerely, 

Sh 



236 



JJJThis is quoted by Ibn Abul-Hadid on page 107, Vol. 3, ofSharh Nahjul Balaghah, while 
discussing an issue worthy of the attention of researchers which is also discussed by Ibn al- 
Athir near the conclusion of v Umer's biography on page 24, Vol. 3, of his Al-Kamil before 
discussing the story of the "consultation." 



Letter 85 

Requesting Narration of Incidents Wherein They Did Not Follow the Texts of 

Hadith 



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RabPul-Awwal 7, 1330 

I have received your latest letter and found it miraculous in proving possible what we thought 
to be impossible, amazing in its portrayal of imagery in the most explicit depiction; so, praised 
be the One Who has simplified for you even the most complex demonstration, bestowing upon 
you the reins of elucidation, till you achieved what cannot be achieved by all means and won 
what cannot be won by the hopeful. We thought that the causes are not related to what the 
authentic texts have implied, and that there is no way to explicitly prove that they deviated 
therefrom. Yet I wish you had recounted the incidents wherein they did not follow the explicit 
texts, so that appropriateness becomes obvious, and the path of guidance manifests itself. I 
request you, therefore, to elaborate on this matter, in the light of their well-known traditions, 
digesting whatever is written in the books of chronicles regarding their way of thinking. 
Wassalamo Alaikom. 

Sincerely, 

5 



Letter 86 

I Thursday's Calamity, 
II The Reason Why the Prophet Repealed His Order Then. 

Rabi ul-Awwal 8, 1330 

1) The incidents in which they did not follow the texts of hadith are innumerable. Take, for 
example, the calamity on Thursday, which is the most famous of such incidents and the most 
abominable among them. It is narrated by all authors of sahihs and sunan, and it was 
documented by all traditionists and historians. Suffices you what al-Bukhari, in his section 
dealing with the statement of the ailing Messenger (pbuh): "Get away from me," on page 5, 
Vol. 4, of his Sahih, where the author relies on the authority of "Ubaydullah ibn Abdullah ibn 
v Utbah ibn Mas'ud who quotes Ibn v Abbas saying that when death approached the Messenger 
of Allah, peace be upon him and his progeny, his house was full of men including v Umer ibn 
al-Khattab. The Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his progeny, said: "Let me write 
you something that will forever protect you against straying after me." 'Umer said: "The 
Prophet is under the influence of pain, and you have with you the Qur'an; so, the Book of Allah 
suffices us." Those who were present there argued among themselves, and their argument 
developed into a dispute. Some of them said: "Come close to the Prophet so that he may write 
something for you that will safeguard you against straying after him," while others repeated 
what v Umer had said. When the argument and dispute intensified in the presence of the 
Prophet, the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his progeny, said to them: "Get away 



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from me." Ibn 'Abbas used to say: "The calamity, the real calamity, is what caused the 
Messenger of Allah (pbuh) to desist from writing what he wished to write, due to their 
argument and dispute." 

There is no dispute regarding the authenticity of this hadith nor the occasion whereupon it was 
invoked. Al-Bukhari quotes it in his treatise on knowledge on page 22, Vol. 1, of his work, and 
it exists in many other places with which the researchers are familiar. He quotes it in several 
places of his Sahih. Muslim, too, quotes it at the conclusion of the Prophet's will in his Sahih on 
page 14, Vol. 2. Ahmed narrates Ibn "Abbas's hadith in his own Musnad. Refer to page 325 of 
its first volume. It is narrated by all authors of traditions and books of history, each writer 
editing it yet retaining its gist, reiterating the fact that the Prophet (pbuh) was described as 
"hallucinating," or "delirious." But they also mentioned that "Umer had said: "The Prophet 
(pbuh) has been overcome by pain" just to sanitize the statement and undermine the sentiments 
of those who found it abominable. Supporting this fact is what Abu Bakr Ahmed ibn "Abdul- 
"Aziz al-Jawhari has said in his book titled Al-Saqifah, relying on the authority of Ibn "Abbas 
and quoting him saying, "When death approached the Messenger of Allah, there were men 
present at his house among whom "Umer ibn al-Khattab was one. The Messenger of Allah said: 
'Bring me ink and a tablet so that I may write you something that will safeguard you against 
straying after me.' Those present at his house differed among themselves and disputed, some 
saying "Come close and watch the Prophet write you something,' while others repeated what 
"Umer had said. When the argument and dispute increased, the Messenger of Allah, peace be 
upon him and his progeny, became angry and said: "Get away from me," as stated on page 20, 
Vol. 2, ofSharh Nahjul Balaghah by the Mu"azilite scholar [Ibn Abul Hadid]. 

As you notice from this narrative, it is explicit in indicating that some individuals reported 
"Umer's opposition in meaning, notverbatim. This also proves that the traditionists who did not 
wish to state the name of the person who opposed had nontheless quoted his 
statement verbatim. In a chapter on rewarding the envoys, in his book Al-Jihad wal Siyar, page 
118, Vol. 2, al-Bukhari states: 

"Qabsah narrated a tradition to us from Ibn "Ayinah, Salman al-Ahwal, and Sa"id ibn Jubayr, 
all consecutively quoting Ibn "Abbas saying: "On a Thursday - what a day that Thursday was...,' 
and he burst sobbing till his tears drenched the stones, then he went on to say, "...the pain of the 
Messenger of Allah intensified on a Thursday; so, he ordered us to bring him some writing 
material so that he might write us something whereby we would be protected against straying 
after him, but people disputed, knowing that nobody should dispute in the presence of any 
Prophet, and they said: "The Messenger of Allah is delirious.' He, peace be upon him and his 
progeny, then said: "Leave me, for the pain which I am suffering is more tolerable than what 
you are attributing to me,' and he left in his will prior to his demise three items: to get the 
polytheists out of the Arab land, to reward the envoys the same way he (pbuh) used to reward 
them,' and I forgot the third one.'TH 

The same hadith is narrated also by Muslim at the conclusion of a chapter dealing with the will 
in his Sahih, and by Ahmed in Ibn "Abbas's ahadith on page 222, Vol. 1, of his work, and by all 
other traditionists. In his chapter on the will, in his Sahih, Muslim quotes Sa"id ibn Jubayr in 
one place, and Ibn "Abbas in another, saying, "That Thursday, O what a day that Thursday 
was...," and his tears kept pouring down till they looked like pearls arrayed in a formation, then 
he continued to say: "The Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his progeny, said: "Bring 



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me a tablet and an ink-pot,' or a plate and some ink, 'so that I may write you something 
whereby you shall never be misguided;' so, some people said: 'The Messenger of Allah is 
delirious."'[21 

Anyone who researches this abominable incident in the sahihs will soon come to find out that 
the first person who said that the Messenger of Allah was delirious was indeed 'Umer, and 
some of those who were present there and then followed suit. In the first hadith, you have heard 
Ibn 'Abbas saying:[3_l "Those present at his house differed among themselves and disputed, 
some saying Tome close and watch the Prophet writing you something,' while others repeated 
what 'Umer had said," i.e. "The Messenger of Allah is delirious." In another tradition narrated 
by al-Tabrani, in his Awsat, and on page 138, Vol. 3, ofKanz al-^Ummal, 'Umer is quoted 
saying: "When the Prophet became sick, he said: 'Bring me a tablet and an ink-pot, so that I 
may write you something after which you shall never stray;' so, the women behind the curtain 
said: 'Have you not heard what the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his progeny, is 
saying?'" 'Umer goes on to say: "I said to them: 'You are like the women who admired Joseph; 
when the Messenger of Allah falls sick, you squeeze your eyes, and when he is healthy, you 
ride his neck!" He also continues to say: "The Messenger of Allah then said: 'Leave them, for 
they are better than you.'" 

You can see that they never implemented the spirit of this hadith. Had they done so, they would 
have been protected against misguidance. We wish they had stopped at just being insubordinate 
and not answering him by saying: "The Book of Allah suffices us," as if he did not know the 
status of Allah's Book among them, or that they were more knowledgeable than him about its 
characteristics and merits. We wish they had been satisfied with all of that rather than 
surprising him with their rude statement: "The Messenger of Allah is delirious," just when he 
was suffering the agony of death. What a farewell statement to the Messenger of Allah (pbuh)! 
They did not follow the Prophet's command due to their being satisfied with the Book of Allah 
as they claimed, as if they never read the verse: "Whatever the Messenger hands over to you, 
take it, and whatever he forbids you therefrom, obey him (Qur'an, 59:7)." They said: "The 
Messenger of Allah is delirious," as if they never read the verse: "It is the speech of an eminent 
Messenger, empowered by the One with the Throne, peaceful to those who obey Him; verily, 
your fellow is not possessed (Qur'an, 81:19-22)," and His statement, the Exalted, the omni- 
scient, "It is the speech of an eminent Messenger, not of a poet; little do you believe; nor is it 
the speech of a priest; little do you remember; it is but the Revelation from the Lord of the 
Worlds (Qur'an, 69:40-43)," and His statement, the Almighty, the Sublime, "Your fellow has 
neither strayed, nor has he yielded to temptation; he utters nothing out of his own inclination; it 
is but what is revealed unto him of the Revelation; he is taught by One mighty in powers 
(Qur'an, 53:2-5)," in addition to many such verses laden with divine wisdom, all testifying to 
his being divinely protected from delirium. 

Yet even reason by itself testifies to the same, but they were aware of the fact that he, the 
Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his progeny, wished to strengthen the covenant of 
caliphate, and emphasize its being the monopoly of 'Ali in particular, and the Imams among his 
purified progeny in general; so, they stood as a stumbling block in his way to do so, as admitted 
by none other than the second caliph himself in a private conversation which he held with Ibn 
'Abbas...! It exists in line 27, page 1 14, Vol. 3, of Shark Nahjul Balaghah by Ibn Abul Hadid. 

If you consider his statement, peace be upon him and his progeny, "Bring me a tablet and an 



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ink-pot, so that I may write you something whereby you shall never stray after me," and his 
statement in the hadith of the Two Weighty Things: "I am leaving with you that which, as long 
as you uphold, will never let you stray: the Book of Allah and my progeny, my Ahl al-Bayt," 
you will come to know then that the purpose of both traditions is the same, and that he, peace 
be upon him and his progeny, wished, even while being sick, to write for them the details of the 
injunctions implied in the hadith of the Two Weighty Things [al thaqalain]. 

2) He repealed his order to them due to their statement with which they surprised him, forcing 
him to change his mind, since after uttering it there would be no effect for his writing them 
anything other than dissension and dispute, leading them to argue be he really delirious - God 
forbid - or not, just as they did even in his own presence and while he could still see things, so 
much so that he could not tell them more than to get away, as you have heard. Had he insisted 
on writing it, they would have resorted to their claim that he had written it in delirium, and 
many of their followers would have gone to extremes in their attempts to prove that he did so 
while being delirious - God forbid - and fill their books with such allegations, only to reject his 
writing and use it as a pretext for not implementing it. 

For these reasons, his marvellous wisdom decreed that he, peace be upon him and his progeny, 
should forget about such writing for fear those opposing his wish and their followers might 
open a door to casting doubts about Prophethood itself; we seek refuge with Allah, and we pray 
for His protection. He, peace be upon him and his progeny, saw how "AH (as) and his followers 
submitted to the spirit of such writing, whether he had written it down or not, while others 
would not act upon it anyway even if he had written it. Wisdom, therefore, necessitated 
abandoning it since it would have no effect at all over the opposition that arose other than 
dissension, as is obvious, Wassalam. 

Sincerely, 

Sh 

[Tl The third is none other than the matter which the Prophet (pbuh) desired to write down in 
order to protect them from misguidance, but politics forced the traditionists to "forget" it, as the 
Hanafi mufti of Sur, Hajj Dawud al-Dadah, suggested. 

[21 This hadith is quoted verbatim by Ahmed on page 355, Vol. 1, of his Musnad, in addition to 
many other reliable authors of books of traditions. 

[3_1 This is what al-Bukhari has quoted from "Ubaydullah ibn 'Abdullah ibn "Utbah ibn Mas'ud 
from Ibn "Abbas, and it is also quoted by Muslim and others. 



Letter 87 
Justifying and Discussing the Calamity 

RabP al-Awwal 9, 1330 

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When he, peace be upon him, ordered them to bring him a blank sheet of paper and an ink-pot, 
he did not really intend to write anything in particular; he intended only to test them, that's all. 
Therefore, Allah guided al-Faruq, from among all other companions, to forbid them from 
bringing them to him. Such an opposition, therefore, must be considered to be in agreement 
with his Sublime Lord, and be counted among his divinely-endowed spiritual powers, may 
Allah be pleased with him. This is the argument of many renown personalities. But his 
statement, peace be upon him, "... you shall never stray," rejects such an argument if the 
principle of fairness is to be implemented, for it is a supplementary command which means "If 
you bring me the blank sheet and the ink-pot, and if I write you something, then you shall never 
stray after it." It is obvious that interpreting such an order as being indicative of a test is a sort 
of flagrant lying from which Prophets are immune, especially where bringing the blank sheet 
and the ink-pot is more fit for the one who receives the order than his seeking such an excuse; 
therefore, another alibi is needed. 

All that can be said is that the issue is not an invitation to a party, so that whoever refuses may 
simply be blamed, but it is an issue of consultation. They used to consult him fUmer], peace be 
upon him, in a few matters. And 'Umer knew that he deep down in his heart was successful in 
choosing what is best for the interest of Muslims, and that itself was inspired by Allah 
Almighty. He simply desired not to let the Prophet burden himself with the pain resulting from 
writing something in the state of sickness and agony, and he, peace be upon him, thought that it 
would be better not to bring the blank sheet and the ink-pot. He may also have feared that the 
Prophet might write things that would be quite impossible for people to carry out, thus making 
them liable for punishment, since such things would be texts for which the principle of ijtihad is 
not possible. Or he may have feared that the hypocrites might cast doubts about the authenticity 
of such writing due to its being done under the influence of sickness, thus becoming a cause of 
dissension; therefore, he said: "The Book of Allah suffices us," supporting the verse of the 
Almighty: "We have not left aught (without explaining it) in the Book (Qur'an, 6:38)" and also 
"Today have I completed your religion for you (Qur'an, 5:4)," out of his own concern, peace be 
upon him, for this nation against straying after Allah had completed His religion for it and 
complemented His blessing unto it. 

Such was their answer. His saying "... you shall never stray" indicates determination and a 
positive attitude. The endeavour to bring about security against straying, whenever possible and 
without any doubt, is a must. His disappointment with them and his telling them to leave him 
since they did not carry out his order is another proof that the matter was simply a response to a 
consultation. 

So, if you say that had it been a must, the Prophet, peace be upon him, would not have repealed 
it simply because they disobeyed him, just like he did not stop preaching due to the opposition 
of the unbelievers..., if you say all this, then we would say that the case is so had the order been 
carried out, for it indicates that the writing of that matter was not obligatory on the Prophet, 
peace be upon him. This of course does not imply that they should not have brought him the 
sheet and the ink-pot when he ordered them to, explaining to them that its benefits would 
include security for them against straying and a source of continuous guidance. The main point 
is that those receiving his order should have obeyed it, especially when the benefit was for the 
one receiving the order, and it is the reason for the statement, not for its enforcement. 

Yet it is also possible that it was obligatory on him, too, and such an obligation was removed 



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242 



due to their insubordination and their saying that he was speaking in delirium, for the fate of 
such writing was then reduced to dissension, as you yourself have wisely stated. 

It is also possible that some people may say that v Umer, may Allah be pleased with him, did not 
take the meaning of the Prophet's statement to imply that such writing would result in 
protecting each and every member of the nation from straying, so much so that none of them at 
all would be misguided. Rather, he understood "... you shall never stray" to mean "... you shall 
never agree all of you to walk the path of misguidance, nor will misguidance, after such 
writing, would inflict anyone among you." Rather, he, may Allah be pleased with him, was 
convinced that they would never all concede to tread the path of misguidance. This is why he 
found no reason why the Prophet should write anything else, thinking that the intention of the 
Prophet was simply an additional precaution in the matter, since he was so well-known to be 
overflowing with kindness and compassion. 

This is all that has been said in the manner of finding an excuse for that initiation. Whoever 
scrutinizes it will be positive in thinking that it is far from being rational, for the simple fact 
that his statement, peace be upon him, "... you shall never stray" indicates that the matter 
required proper attention, as we have said, and his disappointment with them is a proof that 
they became derelict regarding one of their obligations. It is, therefore, more fitting to say that 
such an incident took place when they, indeed, behaved contrarily to their custom, just like 
their previous slip, and it is one mistake that is not at all typical of them, and we do not really 
know how accurate the whole story is. Allah is the Guide to the Straight Path, Wassalamo 
Alaikom. 

Sincerely, 

5 



Letter 88 

Pretexts Refuted 

Rabful-Awwal 11, 1330 

Any fair-minded person ought to yield to the truth and utter what is right. There are other 
views regarding the rejection of these arguments which I desired to put forth to you, so 
that the final judgment will be left entirely to you. 

Their first pretext states that he, peace be upon him and his progeny, having ordered them 
to bring the ink-pot, did not really intend to write something but rather desired to test 
them, that's all. We say, in addition to what you yourself have stated, that this incident 
took place shortly before his demise, as the tradition itself suggests; there was simply no 
time for testing, but there was time for a last minute warning and justifying, time for a will 
containing a very significant matter, a piece of complete advice for the nation. Anyone 
who is dying is certainly far from testing or jesting; he would be concerned about his 

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affairs and those of his own kin, especially if he is a Prophet. 

If he, as long as he lived, did not have enough time to test them, how could he have found 
time to do so when he was about to die? His statement, peace be upon him and his 
progeny, telling them to get away from him when they fussed and argued in his presence, 
is surely indicative of his disappointment with them. Had those who opposed him been 
right, he would have appreciated their opposition and expressed his pleasure therewith. 
Anyone who studies this tradition, especially their saying that the Messenger of Allah was 
delirious, will be positively sure that they were aware of his intention to do something 
they hated; so, they surprised him with such a statement, and they persisted fussing, 
arguing, and disputing, as is quite obvious. Ibn 'Abbas's tears, and his labelling the 
incident a catastrophe disprove this argument. 

Those who seek excuses by arguing that v Umer was divinely inspired in assessing the 
public interest of Muslims, that he was inspired by Allah, are talking nonsense, and their 
argument is dismissed in such a discussion since it suggests that he, not the Messenger of 
Allah, peace be upon him and his progeny, was on the right track in this incident, and that 
his so-called "inspiration" was more accurate than the revelation which he (pbuh), the 
truthful and trustworthy that he was, uttered. 

They say that it was intended to relieve the Prophet, peace be upon him and his progeny, 
from the burden of writing while feeling sick. You, may Allah support the truth through 
your person, know that writing such matters would only bring the Prophet peace of mind, 
tranquility, and the pleasure of his eyes. He would feel happy for ensuring a security for 
his nation, peace be upon him and his progeny, against misguidance. The commands to be 
obeyed, the divine will, and the physical presence were all his. He, being more precious 
than my parents, wished to have access to a sheet of paper and an ink-pot; he issued an 
order and nobody was supposed to oppose his wish; "Neither a believing man nor a 
believing woman has any right, when Allah and His Messenger decree a matter, to follow 
their own views, and whoever disobeys Allah and His Messenger is surely in manifest 
misguidance (Qur'an, 33:36)." 

Yet their insubordination in such an extremely significant matter, and their fussing, 
arguing, and disputing in his presence, were to him more painful than writing what he 
wished to write in order to protect his nation against misguidance. How can anyone who 
feels pity for him because of the pain of writing something oppose him and surprise him 
by saying that he was speaking in delirium? 

They say that 'Umer thought that not to bring the sheet and the ink-pot was wiser. This is 
a most odd statement. How can it be wiser while the Prophet himself had ordered that they 
should be brought forth? Did 'Umer think that the Messenger of Allah would order 
something which would be better left out? 

Yet even more strange is their argument that 'Umer feared that the Prophet might write 
things which would be impossible to implement and whose abandoning would require 
chastisement. How can it thus be feared in spite of the Prophet's statement "... you shall 
never stray"? Do people who thus argue think that 'Umer assesses the consequences more 
correctly than the Prophet himself, and that he is more cautious about and compassionate 



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to his nation than the Prophet (pbuh)? Certainly not. 

They also say that it is possible that v Umer feared the hypocrites might cast doubts about 
the authenticity of such writing, since it would be written during the Prophet's sickness, 
and that it would be a cause for dissension. You, may Allah support the truth through your 
person, know that such an insinuation is impossible since the Prophet, peace be upon him 
and his progeny, has stated: "... you shall never stray," thus clearly stating that such 
writing would bring them security against straying; so, how can it be a reason for 
dissension just because the hypocrites might cast doubts about its authenticity? Had he 
fUmer] feared such hypocrites and their casting doubts about the authenticity of what the 
Prophet wished to write, why did he then plant the seed of such doubts himself when he 
opposed and objected and even said that the Prophet was delirious? 

As regarding their interpretation of verses cited in support of "Umer's statement: "The 
Book of Allah suffices us," such as the verse: "We have left nothing unexplained in the 
Book (Qur'an, 6:38)," and "Today have I completed for you your religion (Qur'an, 5:4)," it 
is erroneous, for neither verse suggests a security against misguidance, nor do both verses 
guarantee guidance for people; so, how can relying on these verses justify abandoning the 
implementation of the texts whose writing the Prophet wished to record? Had the presence 
of the dear Qur'an been to bring security against misguidance, then neither misguidance 
nor dissension, the removal of which is as hopeless as can be, would have ever taken 
placejll 

In their final argument, they say that v Umer did not understand the tradition to imply that 
such writing would be a cause for protecting each and every member of his nation from 
misguidance; and that rather he understood that it would, after its writing, safeguard them 
against erring in their consensus. They claim that v Umer, may Allah be pleased with him, 
knew that the error in their consensus would never occur, albeit if such writing had taken 
place or not, and that for this reason he opposed its writing thus. 

Besides what you have said, we may add that v Umer did not lack such a degree of 
understanding, and he was not blind to the implication of the tradition which became 
obvious to all people. Urban residents as well as bedouins understood the intention of the 
Prophet (pbuh) that it would be a complete prescription for the protection of every 
individual against misguidance... only had it been written. This is the meaning which 
anyone can comprehend of this tradition. 'Umer knew for sure that the Messenger of 
Allah, peace be upon him and his progeny, was not worried about his nation making an 
error in its consensus views, since he, may Allah be pleased with him, had heard him, 
peace be upon him and his progeny, saying: "The consensus of my nation shall never be in 
misguidance nor in error," and his statement: "One group from my nation shall always 
stand opposing what is just," and he was aware of the verse saying: "Allah has promised 
those who believe among you and do good deeds that He will let them inherit the earth 
just as He let those before them be the successors, and He will firmly set the roots of the 
faith which He has approved, and He will exchange their fear with security; they shall 
worship Me, without associating anything with Me (Qur'an, 24:55)," in addition to many 
such texts in both the Book and the Sunnah. They all are clear in implying that NOT the 
entire nation shall err in its consensus views; so, it is not feasible, in spite of all this, that 
v Umer or anyone else would conceive that when the Prophet, peace be upon him and his 



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progeny, asked for a blank sheet of paper and an ink-pot, was worried about his nation 
erring in its consensus views. What v Umer is liable to have understood of this hadith is 
what anyone else would, not what is contrary to the authentic Sunnah, nor to the perfect 
verses of the Qur'an. But the disappointment of the Prophet, peace be upon him and his 
progeny, was obvious when he told them to get away from him, and it proved that what 
they had shunned was indeed a sacred obligation. Had 'Umer's objection been due to his 
misunderstanding of this hadith, as they claim, then the Prophet would have helped him 
remove his misunderstanding, and he would have clarified his objective to him. Nay, even 
if the Prophet was convinced that he would be able to convince them to carry out his 
order, he would not have ordered them out. Again, Ibn 'Abbas's tears and genuine agony 
provide the greatest rebuttal to such claims. 

Justice refuses to find an excuse for those who had permitted such a calamity to take 
place. Had it been, as you described, a simple slip like another one before it, and a rare 
occurrence, the matter would have been a lot more tolerable, but it was the catastrophe of 
the century that split the nation's spine; so, we are Allah's, and to Him is our return. 

Sincerely, 

Sh 



ril You, may Allah support the truth through your person, know that the Prophet (pbuh) 
did not say: "I would like to write down the tenets," so that it may be said to him: 
"Suffices us the Book of Allah, the Exalted One." Even if we suppose that he wished to 
write down those tenets, it could very possibly be that his own writing thereof would be a 
cause for security against misguidance; therefore, there is no reason to avoid his text and 
be satisfied with the Qur'an alone. If the text he wished to write was only to safeguard 
them against misguidance, it would not be appropriate to leave it, shun it, and rely on the 
fact that Allah's Book includes everything. You know very well how the Muslim nation 
has no option besides referring to the sacred Sunnah in spite of the fact that it holds the 
Book of Allah, the Exalted, as indispensable, and although it is inclusive and is divinely 
protected, for deriving injunctions from it is not within the reach of every ordinary person. 
Had the Book of Allah been completely sparing us from referring to its own explanations 
as put forth by the Prophet (pbuh), then Allah Aighty would not have commanded him to 
explain it to people when He said: "We have revealed unto you the Book so that you may 
explain to people what has been revealed for them." 



Letter 89 

I Admitting the Falsehood of Such Pretexts, 

II Requesting Narration of Other Incidents. 



Rabful-Awwal 14, 1330 



Sayyid 'Abd al-Husayn Sharaf al-Din al-Musawi 



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1) You have closed the avenues in the way of permitting the falsehood of such 
pretexts. 

2) Go ahead, then, and state all other incidents in which they used their own 
judgment regarding the Prophet's Hadith, Wassalam. 

Sincerely, 

S 



Letter 90 

Usamah's Regiment 

Rabfl-Awwal 17, 1330 

If you have truly submitted to the truth, without fearing any blame, then you are the 
ultimate goal and the true objective. You are above getting confused about what is right 
and what is not, and you are above hiding the truth. You are even more than that, more 
honourable, and more virtuous. 

You have, may Allah raise your status of honour, asked me to narrate for you all other 
incidents in which they preferred to follow their own views rather than submitting to 
divine orders; therefore, consider the incident of the regiment of Usamah ibn Zayd ibn 
Harithah dispatched to invade the Romans. It was the last regiment contemporary to the 
Prophet (pbuh) who paid it a great concern, ordering his companions to prepare for it, 
earnestly urging them to do so. He raised the army in his own pure person in order to 
give those enlisted in it a great deal of moral encouragement and address their 
conscience. He did not spare any dignitary from among the Muhajiriin nor the Ansar, 
such as Abu Bakr, v Umer,|Tl Abu 'Ubaydah, Sa v d, and their peers, from enlisting. \2] 

It took place on Safar 26, 1 1 A.H. The next day, he called upon Usamah and said: "Go to 
the place where your father had been murdered and let your cavalry roam it, for I have 
vested upon you the leadership of these troops; therefore, invade Ubna[3fin the 
morning, burn their homes and come back faster than the tidings of your deeds. If Allah 
grants you the upper hand over them, do not stay there too long. Take road guides with 
you; dispatch others to collect information for you, and let the scouts escort you." 

On Safar 38, his death fever intensified, and he started suffering from headaches. On 
Safar 29, he found them reluctant to leave; therefore, he went out to urge them to 
expedite the campaign. He (pbuh) tied the flag for Usamah with his own eminent hands 
in order to stir their conscience and manipulate their determination. Then he said: "Go in 
the Name of Allah, in the Path of Allah, and fight those who disbelieve in Allah." 
Usamah took the tied flag and handed it to Buraydah, then he camped at Jurf. Even 



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there, they slackened and did not leave, in spite of all the clear statements of the Prophet 
(pbuh) urging them to expedite the campaign, such as: "... invade Ubna in the morning," 
and "... come back faster than the tidings of your deeds," in addition to many such orders 
which they never followed in reference to that regiment. Moreover, even some of them 
started questioning the wisdom of selecting Usamah for its leadership, just as they had 
questioned that of his father's, making several remarks to that effect, in spite of their 
witnessing the Prophet (pbuh) vesting upon him such a responsibility, and their hearing 
the Prophet (pbuh) saying to him: "I have vested upon you the leadership of these 
troops," and their seeing him tying the flag for him, which is the symbol of authority, 
with his own eminent hands, and all of that he (pbuh) did in spite of his fever. 

All of the above did not stop them from casting doubts about the wisdom of selecting 
him as the regiment's commander, so much so that their grumbling angered the Prophet 
(pbuh) who went out one day, his head bandaged,[4_[ wrapped in a blanket, suffering the 
pain of fever, on a Saturday, the 10th of Rabful-Awwal, only two days before his 
demise, and ascended the pulpit. Having seated himself on the pulpit, he (pbuh) praised 
Allah and glorified Him, then, according to the consensus of historians and scholars, he 
said: 

"O people! It has come to my knowledge that some of you have felt uneasy about my 
appointment of Usamah [as the commander]. If you cast doubts about his appointment, 
you had done so before when I appointed his father who, by Allah, was worthy of such 
authority, and so is his son after him." 

He urged them to start marching, and they in fact did start bidding him farewell and 
leaving to join the troops stationed at al-Jurf, while he was still urging them to rush. 
Then his sickness worsened, yet he kept saying: "Usamah's army! Complete the mission 
of Usamah's army! Dispatch Usamah's troops!" He kept repeating these orders even 
while they were still reluctant to respond. On the 12th of Rabful-Awwal, Usamah left 
his temporary quarters at al-Jurf and visited the Prophet (pbuh) who ordered him to start 
his mission immediately, saying: "Tomorrow, by the blessing of Allah, the Exalted One, 
leave early in the morning," so he bade him farewell and left for the camp. Accompanied 
by v Umer and Abu 'Ubaydah, he went back again to see the Prophet. The three men 
reached the Prophet who was breathing his last. He died, may my life and those of the 
world be sacrificed for his sake, on the same day, and the army returned to Medina and 
considered cancelling the campaign altogether. 

They discussed this matter with Abu Bakr, pressuring him a great deal to endorse their 
idea of cancellation, in spite of witnessing all the emphasis the Prophet (pbuh) had 
placed on rushing the mission, having heard his statement stressing that they should 
expedite sending the troops in a way too fast to allow the enemy to know about it, 
spending so much effort raising the army personally, appointing Usamah to take charge 
of it, and tying its flag with his own hands, saying: "Tomorrow, by the blessing of Allah, 
the Exalted One, leave early in the morning," till he died, as you have come to know. 
Had it not been for the newly appointed successor of the Prophet (pbuh), they would 
have all decided to cancel the campaign and untie the flag's knot, but the caliph [Abu 
Bakr] refused to do so, and when they saw him determined to carry on the mission, 
"Umer approached him and requested him on behalf of the Ansar to depose Usamah 



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from the post of the army's leader and appoint someone else. 

It was not long since they had angered the Prophet and annoyed him by their displeasure 
with his appointment of Usamah as the commander of the regiment, nor since his going 
out of his house for the same reason, painfully feverish, bandaged, wrapped in a blanket, 
unable to walk steadily, his legs hardly carrying him due to the pain from which he was 
suffering; having ascended the pulpit, breathing heavily, fighting his pain, he said: "O 
people! It has come to my knowledge that some of you have felt uneasy about my 
appointment of Usamah [as the commander]. If you cast doubts about his appointment, 
you had done so before when I appointed his father who, by Allah, was worthy of such 
an authority, and so is his son after him." Thus did he, peace be upon him and his 
progeny, emphasize, by swearing by Allah, that they should submit to what he had 
decreed. They did not. The new caliph [Abu Bakr] refused to yield to their pressure to 
remove Usamah from his post. He leaped and took v Umer by the beard saying: "May 
your mother lose you, and may she be deprived of you as a son! He has been appointed 
by the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) and you still ask me to depose him?! "[51 They 
reluctantly dispatched Usamah's regiment. The total number of his troops was no more 
than three thousand, including one thousand cavaliers. [61 It was dodged by many of 
those who had been drafted by the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) himself. According to 
Shahristani's fourth Introduction to his book Al-Milal wal Nihal, the Prophet (pbuh) is 
quoted saying: "Draft in Usamah's army; may Allah curse its draft dodgers." 

You may also know that initially they were reluctant to go with the regiment; then they 
finally dodged, just to firmly lay the foundations of their political structure and set its 
bases, preferring it to the carrying out of the orders of the Prophet. They saw that such a 
political structure was more worthy of their concern and attention, since their reluctance 
to draft would not cancel the dispatching of the troops, nor would the draft dodgers 
either. As regarding the caliphate, they would certainly miss it had they participated in 
the campaign before the Prophet's demise. He (pbuh) had desired that they should leave 
the capital in order to clear the way for the establishment of the caliphate for the 
Commander of the Faithful Ali ibn Abu Talib (as) peacefully and quietly. So, when they 
would come back, such caliphate would have already been established and settled down 
for Ali, and there would have been no chance for them to dispute or question it. 

The Prophet (pbuh) had selected Usamah, who was seventeen years old,JT[to be their 
commander simply in order to subdue the stiff necks of some of them, and out of his 
own desire to contain the ambition of others, and also as a safeguard for protecting the 
peace in the future against the dispute of those who were obviously ambitious and 
hopeful, had he chosen one of them instead. But they were intelligent enough to be 
aware of what he (pbuh) was planning; so, they questioned the appointment of Usamah, 
reluctantly refused to accompany him, and did not leave Jurf till the soul of the Prophet 
(pbuh) returned to its Lord. It was then that they decided to cancel the campaign and 
untie the flag's knot on one hand, and to depose Usamah on the other. Moreover, many 
of them became draft dodgers, as you have come to know. These are five reasons why 
they did not act upon the Prophet's hadith, preferring their own political interests, and 
following their own judgment rather than implementing the spirit of his hadith, 
Wassalam. 



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Al-Muraja'at 249 
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Sincerely, 

5/7 



ril Authors of books of tradition and history have unanimously accepted the fact that 
Abu Bakr and 'Umer, may Allah be pleased with them, were enlisted in the same army, 
stating such a fact in their books unreservedly, and this is one of the instances in which 
they have never disputed. Refer, therefore, to any book which contains information 
about this particular expedition such as Ibn Sard's Tabaqat, the books of history by al- 
Tabari and Ibn al-Athir, Al-Sira al-Halabiyya, Al-Sira al-Dahlaniyya, and others, so that 
you may find out for yourself. When al-Halabi discusses this campaign in Vol. 3 of 
his Sira [biography book], he mentions an interesting anecdote which we would like to 
quote here as he words it: 

When the caliph al-Mehdi entered Basra, he happened to see Iyas ibn Mu'awiyah, who 
is proverbial in sharpness of intellect, and who was then a young boy surrounded by as 
many as four hundred men of knowledge and prestige, al-Mehdi asked him: "What 
beards! Couldn't they find an older sage to follow rather than this teenager?" Then al- 
Mehdi turned to him and asked him how old he was. He answered: "I am, may Allah 
prolong the presence of the commander of the faithful among us, the same age Usamah 
ibn Zayd ibn Harithah was when the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) entrusted him to lead 
the army in which both Abu Bakr and v Umer served." Al-Mehdi said: "Come close, may 
Allah bless you." He was then seventeen years old. 

[21 "Umer used to say to Usamah: "The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) has died leaving you 
in command over me." He is quoted by a group of renown scholars such as al-Halabi 
while discussing Usamah's army in his Al-Sira al-Halabiyya, in addition to many other 
traditionists and historians. 

[31 It is a territory in Balqa' between 'Ashkelon (a seaport in southwest Palestine) and 
Ramallah (in Jordan's West Bank), near Mu'ta where Zayd ibn Harithah and JaTer ibn 
Abu Talib, of the two wings in Paradise, peace be upon him, were martyred. 

[4_L Every traditionist and author of biography and history books who has mentioned this 
regiment has also mentioned their resentment of the Prophet's appointment of Usamah as 
the commander over them, and that he (pbuh) became extremely angry when he came to 
know about such resentment, hence he delivered the khutba which we have quoted 
earlier; so, refer to the chapter on Usamah's regiment in Ibn Sard's Tabaqat, both Sira 
books of al-Halabi and al-Dahlani, and other books dealing with this topic. 

[51 This is quoted by al-Halabi and al-Dahlani in their respective Sira books, and by Ibn 
Jarir al-Tabari while discussing the events of the year 1 1 in his Tarikh, in addition to 
other authors of books of history. 

[61 He raided Ubna, burnt their homes, cut their palm-trees, his cavalry trampled upon 
their residential quarters, killing a few and capturing a few others. Among those whom 



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he killed was his father's assassin. Nobody among the Muslims was killed; so, praise be 
to Allah, Lord of the Worlds. Usamah was then riding his father's horse. Their banner 
then said: "O you who is divinely supported, take their lives," which was the Prophet's 
banner during the Battle of Badr. He distributed two shares of the booty to cavalry 
soldiers and one to the infantry, taking for himself the same. 

[71 This is most likely. Some say he was eighteen years old, others say nineteen, and still 
others say twenty, but nobody said he was older than that. 



Letter 91 

Justifying Their Behaviour Towards Usamah's Regiment, 
II No Hadith Curses its Draft Dodgers. 



Rain al-Awwal 19, 1330 

1) Yes, the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) had urged them to rush to participate in Usamah's 
campaign, ordering them to expedite, as you have mentioned, emphasizing his order till he 
told Usamah to invade Ubna in the morning, not allowing him to wait till the evening, 
telling him to go and emphasizing his order once more by telling him to rush. But he, 
peace be upon him, according to all narrations, fell sick and started breathing very 
heavily, so much so that they started worrying about him and feeling too upset to leave 
him in such condition. They remained at Jurf waiting to know the condition of his health 
out of their own fear for his life and due to their attachment to him. They, therefore, are 
excused for having waited, and they should not be blamed. 

As regarding their questioning the Prophet's appointment of Usamah after his death, in 
spite of what they remembered of his statements and his emphasis by word and by action, 
with which they were familiar, it was nothing more than their objection to his being too 
young, to his being a youth among middle-aged and old men. The latter naturally find it 
very difficult to receive orders from the young, and they by nature feel resentful towards 
submitting to their judgment. Their hatred of his appointment was not an innovation but 
simply due to the human nature; so, consider that. 

As regarding their demand after the demise of the Messenger to depose Usamah, this is 
justified by some scholars among those who expected the Siddiq [Abu Bakr] to agree with 
them. These persons thought that such deposition would, in their view, serve the public 
interest. Yet, for the sake of fairness, I personally cannot rationalize their request to 
depose him after seeing how angry the Prophet (pbuh) was when they requested the same, 
and his going out, feverish, bandaged and wrapped in a blanket, to denounce such a notion 
in his sermon from the pulpit. They knew that such an incident was, indeed, a historical 
milestone; so, their real motive is not known except by Allah. 

As regarding their determination to cancel the campaign, and their pressuring al-Siddiq to 
do so, in spite of seeing how much emphasis the Prophet had placed on its dispatch, his 
concern about expediting its departure, as well as his repeated statements to this effect, is 



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but their own caution about the capital of Islam else it should be assaulted by the 
polytheists around it once vacated from a protecting force, while the army was far away 
from it, especially since hypocrisy surfaced as soon as the Prophet (pbuh) died, and the 
hopes of the Jews and Christians were revived, and a group among the Arabs renegated, 
while other groups refused to pay zakat. The companions of the Prophet, therefore, spoke 
to our master al-Siddiq and requested him to forbid Usamah from leaving, but he refused 
and said: "It is better for me that birds snatch my flesh away rather than start my rule by 
overruling the command of the Messenger of Allah (pbuh)." 

This is what our fellows have said regarding al-Siddiq. As regarding others, they are not 
to be blamed for trying to stop the campaign since their objective was nothing other than a 
genuine concern about the safety of the religion of Islam. 

As regarding the question why Abu Bakr, "Umer, and others who were drafted in the 
regiment, lagged behind when Usamah proceeded, it was only to lay the firm foundations 
of the Islamic government, support the law of Muhammad (pbuh), and protect the 
caliphate, which was the only protector of both faith and the faithful. 

2) As regarding what you have quoted of Shahristani's book Al-Milal wal Nihal, we have 
found it to be narrated without the name of its narrator. Both al-Halabi and Sayyid al- 
Dahlani, in their respective books of traditions, have said that in fact there was no such 
hadith at all in that meaning. If you, may Allah protect you, are able to narrate hadith from 
Sunnis supporting it, then lead me to it, Wassalam. 

Sincerely, 

5 



Letter 92 

I Their Pretexts do not Contradict our Statement, 
II Al-Shahristani's Hadith is Documented. 



Rabf al-Awwal 22, 1330 

1) You have, may Allah Almighty protect you, admitted that they lagged behind Usamah's 
regiment and were at Jurf reluctant to proceed in spite of being ordered by the Prophet 
(pbuh) to rush and expedite. You also admit that they did, indeed, raise questions about 
the [Prophet's] wisdom in appointing Usamah in spite of what they had seen and heard of 
deeds and words regarding his appointment. 

You have further admitted that they did, indeed, request Abu Bakr to depose him even 
after seeing how angry the Prophet (pbuh) was when he noticed their questioning his 
appointment, his going out to them, feverish, bandaged, wrapped in a blanket, to deliver a 
sermon from the pulpit in which he repudiated their grumbling, a sermon you yourself 
have described as one of the significant historical events, one wherein he described 



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Usamah as being worthy of such a post. 

You have accepted the fact that they requested the caliph to cancel the regiment 
dispatched by the Messenger of Allah (pbuh), and untie the knot he, with his own eminent 
hands, had tied, in spite of seeing his concern about dispatching it and his complete care 
about expediting it, in addition to several statements he made regarding the necessity of 
doing so. 

You have, moreover, admitted that some of those who had been drafted in that army by 
the Prophet (pbuh) himself who ordered them to enlist under Usamah's leadership had 
lagged behind. You have admitted all these facts which are written down in the books of 
history and are matters of consensus among the traditionists and historians, saying that 
they were not to be blamed for all what they had done. The summary of their pretext, as 
you have put it, is that they had preferred in those matters the interest of Islam according 
to their own views, not according to the Prophet's statements in their regard. We did not 
intend in this matter to state anything more than that. In other words, the topic of our 
discussion is whether they used to follow all the Prophet's statements or not. You have 
chosen the first, while we have chosen the second, and now your admission that they did 
not follow such statements proves our own viewpoint. Their being excused or not is 
obviously besides the point. 

Since it has been proved according to your views that they preferred, in the incident of 
Usamah's regiment, the interest of Islam, following their own views rather than those of 
the Prophet as embedded in his statements, then why don't you likewise say that they 
preferred in the issue of caliphate to follow their own views regarding what is good for 
Islam to those of the Prophet (pbuh) as stated in his Ghadir hadith and the like? You have 
found excuses for those who cast doubts about Usamah's appointment, saying that they 
did so only because of his young age and their being middle-aged and old, and that old 
folks are naturally made to resent taking orders from the young; so, why don't you apply 
the same argument to those who did not follow the Ghadir texts appointing Ali (as), who 
was a young man, to take charge of middle-aged and elderly companions, who considered 
him young at the time when the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his progeny, 
died just as they considered Usamah young when the Prophet (pbuh) appointed him as 
their commander in that regiment? What a big difference between caliphate and the 
leadership of a regiment! If their nature refused to accept the leadership of a youth in 
commanding one regiment, they were more liable to refuse the lifetime leadership of a 
youth in all religious and secular matters. 

But your argument that middle-aged and elderly folks naturally resent receiving orders 
from the young is rejected if you apply it to all matters, since those whose faith is strong 
among elderly believers certainly do not resent being commanded by Allah and His 
Messenger to take orders from a youth, or in any other matter. "Nay! By thy Lord, they 
shall never truly believe till they totally accept your judgment in all their disputes, then 
they do not feel any hardship in accepting your judgment, submitting thereto 
wholeheartedly (Qur'an, 4:65)." "Whatever the Messenger grants you, take it, and abstain 
from whatever he forbids you (Qur'an, 59:7)." 

2) As regarding al-Shahristani who discusses those who dodged the draft in Usamah's 



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army, narrating their story as a generally accepted fact, it has been narrated in one hadith 
documented by Abu Bakr Ahmed ibn "Abdul-Aziz al-Jawhari in his book Al-Saqifa, from 
which I quote here this much for you verbatim: 

"Ahmed ibn Ishaq ibn Salih has narrated a tradition to us from Ahmed ibn Siyar from Sa"d 
ibn Kathir al-Ansari whose men quote "Abdullah ibn "Abdul-Rahman saying that when 
the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) fell sick shortly before his death, he appointed Usamah ibn 
Zayd ibn Harithah to take charge in leading an army most of which were men from the 
Muhajiriin and the Ansar. Among them were: Abu Bakr, "Umer, Abu "Ubaydah ibn al- 
Jarrah, "Abdul-Rahmn ibn "Awf, Talhah, and al-Zubayr, and ordered him to invade Mu'ta, 
where his father Zayd had been murdered, and to invade the valley of Palestine. Usamah 
slackened, and so did the rest of the army, and the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him 
and his progeny, though sick, kept emphasizing that the army must rush there, till Usamah 
said to him: "O Messenger of Allah! Would you permit me to stay for a few days till Allah 
Almighty heals you?' He answered: "Go and proceed, supported by the blessings of Allah.' 
He said: "O Messenger of Allah! If I proceed while you are sick like that, I will be going 
with a heart swollen with pain.' He (pbuh) said: "Proceed towards victory in good health.' 
Usamah persisted: "But I hate to keep asking the travellers about your condition.' He said: 
"Proceed to carry out my orders,' then he, peace be upon him and his progeny, fainted. 
Usamah left and prepared to proceed. When the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) regained his 
consciousness, he immediately inquired about Usamah, and he was told that he and his 
men were preparing to proceed, whereupon he kept repeating: "Carry out Usamah's 
mission; the curse of Allah be upon whoever dodges its draft.' Usamah finally left the city, 
the flag above his head, surrounded by the companions, till he reached Jurf. In his 
company were Abu Bakr, "Umer, and most of the Muhajiriin and the Ansar such as Asid 
ibn Hadr, Bashir ibn Sa"d, and many other dignitaries. Then he received a messenger sent 
by Umm Ayman who informed him to go ahead and enter the city because the Prophet 
(pbuh) was dying. He immediately left for Medina with the standard still in his hand. 
Having reached the Prophet's residence, he planted it at the door just when the Prophet 
(pbuh) had died." 

This has been written down by a group of historians such as the Mu"tazilite scholar Ibn 
Abul-Hadid at the conclusion of page 20 and the succeeding page in Vol. 2 of his Shark 
Nahjul Balaghah, Wassalam. 

Sincerely, 

5/7 



Letter 93 

Requesting Narration of Other Incidents 

Rabi v al-Awwal 23, 1330 

We seem to have elaborated on Usamah's regiment, just as we elaborated on the 

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Shi'i-Sunni dialogue 



Thursday calamity, till truth became distinct from falsehood, and the rays of the 
dawn became visible to those who can see; so, now let us hear about other 
incidents, Wassalam. 

Sincerely, 

S 



Letter 94 

His Order (pbuh) to Kill the Renegade 

Rain al-Awwal 25, 1330 

Suffices you in response to your request what is recorded by a group of the nation's 
scholars and the imams of narrators, such as imam Ahmed ibn Hanbal who writes on page 
15, Vol. 3, of his musnad, quoting Abu Sa"d al-Khudri saying that Abu Bakr once came to 
the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his progeny and said: "O Messenger of 
Allah! I was passing through a valley when I saw a man, solemn and properly attired, 
saying his prayers." The Prophet, peace be upon him and his progeny, said to him: "Go 
and kill him." So Abu Bakr went there, and when he saw the man like that, he hated to kill 
him; therefore, he returned to the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his progeny, 
without carrying out his order. The Prophet, peace be upon him and his progeny, said to 
"Umer: "Go and kill him," and "Umer went there and saw him in the same way Abu Bakr 
had described, and he, too, came back without killing the man and said: "O Messenger of 
Allah! I have seen him saying his prayers very solemnly; so, I hated to kill him." The 
Prophet (pbuh) then said to "AH: " v Ali, you go and kill him," whereupon "AH went to the 
place and returned only to say: "O Messenger of Allah! I could not find the man." The 
Prophet, peace be upon him and his progeny, then said: "This man and his friends read the 
Qur'an only pronouncing its words [just to impress people]; they depart from the faith as 
swiftly as the arrow departs from the bow, and they do not go back till the arrow goes 
back to the bow anew. Kill them, for they are the worst among the living." 

In his Musnad, Abu Ya"li, as stated in the biography of Thul-Thadya by Ibn Hajar in 
his Isaba, quotes Anas ibn Malik saying: "We used to admire the piety and ijtihad of a 
man who was contemporary to the Messenger of Allah (pbuh), and we mentioned him by 
name to the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his progeny, but he did not know 
him. We described him to the Prophet (pbuh), but he still did not recognize him. While we 
were talking about him, he came into sight and we said that it was he. He (pbuh) said: 
"Are you talking to me about a man on whose face Satan has placed his mark?' The man 
approached till he stood before them without greeting them. The Messenger of Allah, 
peace be upon him and his progeny, asked him: "I ask you in the Name of Allah if you 
have told yourself when you approached that there is nobody among us better than or 
superior to you?' The man answered: "Indeed, I have,' and he came in to say his prayers. 



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The Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his progeny, asked who would be willing 
to kill the man, and Abu Bakr said he would. When Abu Bakr entered, he found the man 
engaged in saying his prayers; so, he wondered how he could kill a man who was saying 
his prayers. When the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) asked him what he did, he answered: V I 
hated to kill him while he was saying his prayers, and you yourself had ordered us not to 
kill those who pray.' The Prophet (pbuh) asked for a volunteer, and this time v Umer 
responded. v Umer entered and found the man prostrating and said to himself that Abu 
Bakr was better than him; therefore, he went out. When the Prophet (pbuh) asked him if 
he did what he had promised to do, he told him that he had found the man placing his 
forehead on the ground prostrating to God. The Prophet (pbuh) once more asked: v Who 
can kill this man?' 'Ali answered in the affirmative, and when he entered looking for him, 
he found out that he had already left; so, he went back to the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) 
and told him that the man had already left. It was then that the Prophet (pbuh) said: 'Had 
this man been killed, no couple among my nation would have disputed with one another.'" 

This incident has been recorded by al-Hafiz Muhammad ibn Miisa al-Shirazi in his book 
wherein he combines the tafasir of Y'aqiib ibn Hayyan, v Ali ibn Harb, al-Sadi, Mujahid, 
Qatadah, Waki\ and Ibn Jurayh. Its authenticity is considered common knowledge by 
trustworthy traditionists such as Imam Shihabud-Din Ahmed, who is better known as Ibn 
'Abd Rabbih al-Andalusi, who quotes it at the conclusion of his chapter on those who 
follow their own inclinations in the first volume of his bookAl-^Iqd al-Farid. At the 
conclusion of this incident as he narrates it, he says that the Prophet (pbuh) has said: "This 
is the first horn [of the devil] coming out in my nation. Had you killed him, no two men 
would have disputed with each other. The children of Isra'il split into seventy-two groups, 
and this nation shall split into seventy-three groups all of which, except one, will go to 

Hell. "£H 

Another almost similar narration of this incident is recorded by authors of books of 
traditions[21 who cite "Ali (as) saying: "Some people from Quraysh came once to the 
Prophet (pbuh) and said: v O Muhammad! We are your neighbours and allies, and some of 
our slaves had come to you without a genuine desire to learn your religion or 
jurisprudence; they simply escaped from our possession; so, return them to us.' He asked 
Abu Bakr his opinion, and Abu Bakr said: v They are right in saying that they are your 
neighbours;' whereupon the Prophet's face changed colour [i.e. became red with anger], 
and he asked 'Umer what he thought. v Umer repeated Abu Bakr's words, and again his 
face changed colour and said: O people of Quraysh! By Allah! Allah will send you a man 
the faith of whose heart is tested by Allah, and he will fight you in order to safeguard the 
faith.' Abu Bakr inquired if he meant him, and his answer was negative. Then v Umer 
inquired if it was he about whom the Prophet (pbuh) was talking, and his answer was: 
'No, it is the man who is mending the sandal;' the Prophet (pbuh) had given me his sandal 
to mend," Wassalam. 

Sincerely, 

Sh 



Sayyid 'Abd al-Husayn Sharaf al-Din al-Musawi 



Al-Muraja'at 256 
Shi'i-Sunni dialogue 



m The words "firqa" and "Shi'ah" are, if you count the times each one of them is 
repeated, synonymous, for the total number of each one of them is 385, making the 
majority of that group hopeful. 

[21 Such as Imam Ahmed near the conclusion of page 155, Vol. 1, of his Musnad, Sa'id 
ibn Mansiir in his Sunan, and Ibn Jarir in Tahthib al-Athar, all testifiying to its 
authenticity. It is quoted from all of them by al-Muttaqi al-Hindi on page 396, Vol. 6, of 
his book Kanz al- K Ummal. 



Letter 95 

Justifying not Killing the Renegade 

Rabf al-Awwal 26, 1330 

They, may Allah be pleased with them, may have understood the Prophet's order to 
be a recommendation rather than an obligation, and this is why they did not kill the 
man. Or maybe they thought that killing him was to be handled by a more qualified 
companion, since such were present then, and they did not refrain from killing him 
out of fear that he might flee, having refrained from telling him about anyone's 
intention to kill him, Wassalam. 

Sincerely, 

S 



Letter 96 

Justification Rejected 



Rain al-Awwal 29, 1330 

The order was one that required its execution as such; so, nobody would understand it any 
other way; therefore, calling it a recommendation is not proved by any argument at all. On 
the contrary, proofs emphasize its real meaning, i.e. as an order; so, look carefully into 
those traditions and you will find out that what we say here is the truth. Suffices you his 
statement (pbuh): "This man and his men read the Qur'an only pronouncing its words [just 
to impress people]; they depart from the faith as swiftly as the arrow departs from the 
bow, and they do not go back till the arrow goes back to the bow anew. Kill them, for they 
are the worst among the living," and also his statement, peace be upon him and his 
progeny, "Had he been killed, no two men of my nation will have ever disputed with one 



Sayyid 'Abd al-Husayn Sharaf al-Din al-Musawi 



Al-Muraja'at 257 
Shi'i-Sunni dialogue 



another." Such statements were not said except when there was a serious command greatly 
emphasizing that the man be killed. 

If you refer to Ahmed's Musnad, you will find the order to kill the man was directed to 
Abu Bakr in particular, then to v Umer in particular; so, how can the obligation be ruled 
out? 

Yet traditions are indeed explicit in indicating that those companions refrained from 
killing the man only because they hated to do so for no reason other than the fact that he 
was engaged in prayer and supplication. They did not feel well even though the Prophet 
(pbuh) himself felt well about getting rid of him. They did not abide by the order which 
they had received from the Prophet (pbuh) to kill the man. This incident, therefore, is just 
another proof testifying to the fact that they used to prefer to follow their own opinions 
rather than the instructions of the Prophet (pbuh), Wassalam. 

Sincerely, 

5/7 



Letter 97 

Requesting Narration of all Such Incidents 



Rabf al-Awwal 30, 1330 



Narrate all the rest of such incidents, without leaving any one of them out, so 
that we do not have to request you again, even if this means that your letters will 
be lengthy, Wassalam. 

Sincerely, 

S 



Letter 98 

Glittering Proofs, 



Sayyid 'Abd al-Husayn Sharaf al-Din al-Musawi 



Al-Muraja'at 258 
Shi'i-Sunni dialogue 



II Reference to Other Incidents. 



Rain al-Thani 11, 1330 

1) Consider the Hudaybiya Treaty, Hunayn's booties, the taking of ransom from the 
captives of the Battle of Badr, his (pbuh) order to slaughter a few camels when they had a 
severe shortage of food rations during the Battle of Tabiik, some of their own affairs on 
Uhud and its valley, the incident when Abu Hurayrah started conveying glad tidings to all 
those who believed in the Unity of Allah, the incident of performing ritual prayers for a 
hypocrite, the incident of their questioning thesadaqat and their inquiries about 
debauchery, their interpretation of the verses dealing with the khums and zakat, the two 
verses dealing with the mufa [temporary] marriage, the verse dealing with the divorce 
thrice, their interpretation of the traditions regarding the extra prayers during the month of 
Ramadan, the latter's methods and numbers, the method of calling the athan, the number 
of takbirs during funeral prayers..., to the end of the list that is too lengthy to be dealt with 
in detail here. Add to this their opposition regarding the matter pertaining to Hatib ibn 
Balta'ah, their opposition to what the Prophet (pbuh) did at Ibrahim's maqam, the addition 
of the houses of some Muslims to the building of the mosque, the enforcement of the 
blood money of Abu Khirash al-Hathli to be paid by the people of Yemen, the banishment 
of Nasr ibn al-Hajjaj al-Salami, the penalty enforced on Ja'dah ibn Salam,£l_L the method 
to regulate the jizya, the covenant to conduct the shiira in the well-known manner, 
roaming at night and spying during day-time, the compensation in performing the 
rituals..., to the end of the list of innumerable issues in which they aspired to achieve 
power and control, as well as special interests. We have dedicated in our book Sabil al- 
Mu 'minin[2_[ a lengthy chapter to deal with them. 

2) Yet there are other texts dealing particularly with v Ali and the purified progeny (as) 
besides the ones related to the caliphate which they did not honour either; rather, they 
acted to the contrary of the latter, as researchers know very well. So, no wonder to see 
how they used their own judgment to interpret the texts related to his caliphate; after all, 
isn't it just another text which they subjected to their own views and preferred their own 
thinking rather than acting upon it? Wassalam. 

Sincerely, 

Sh 



[1] Refer to "Umer's biography in Ibn Sard's Tabaqat and you will see how Ja'dah was 
executed for no complaint brought against him nor a witness other than a sheet on which 
there were verses written by an anonymous poet accusing Ja'dah of committing adultery. 

[21 If you did not have a chance to read Sabil al-Muminin, try not to miss reading Al-Fusul 
al-Muhimma, for it contains precious benefits which no other book contains. We have 
dedicated a complete chapter to those who interpret it; it is Chapter 8, pages 44 to 130 of 



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Al-Muraja'at 259 
Shi'i-Sunni dialogue 



the second edition, where these matters are explained in detail. 



Letter 99 

I Their Preference of the Common Interest in Those Instances, 

II Requesting the Rest. 



Rabf al-Thani 5, 1330 A.H. 

1) Anyone endowed with wisdom does not suspect their good intentions, and their 
preference of the common interest to all other considerations in their conduct regarding 
those instances. They always thought of what would be the best for this nation and the 
wisest for its faith, the best for its unity; so, they are not to be blamed for whatever they 
did, albeit if they followed certain texts or used their own judgment regarding them. 

2) We had requested you to narrate all the instances, but you have narrated only a few, 
stating that there are texts regarding the Imam and his progeny (as) besides the ones 
pertaining to his caliphate which our ancestors did not honour. We wish you had stated 
them in detail and spared us requesting you again to do so, Wassalam. 

Sincerely, 

5 



Letter 100 

I The Debater Digresses from the Subject-Matter, 

II Responding to His Request. 



Rabf al-Thani 8, 1330 

1) You have admitted their conduct regarding those well-known instances, and you have 
believed what we had said first; so, all praise is due to Allah. As regarding their good 
intentions and their preference of the common interest, their seeking of what is best for the 
nation, its faith and unity, this is a departure from our main topic, as you yourself know. 

2) In your latest letter, you have requested the details of the authentic ahadith regarding 
'AH (as) in matters other than the imamate which they did not follow; nay, they did not 
even pay them any attention. You are the imam of traditions of our time; you are well 
acquainted with them; you have spent a great deal of effort in tackling the details of what 
we have summed up, and who else is more knowledgeable than you of the details of what 
we have referred to? Is there anyone else who equals you or is able to compete with you 
regarding the Sunnah? Certainly not; yet, the matter is just what the axiom says: "How 



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often do people ask about things with which they are familiar?" 

You know very well that there are quite a few companions who hated 'Ali and were his 
enemies. They deserted him, hurt him, cursed and wronged him, opposed him, fought 
him, struck his face and the faces of his Ahl al-Bayt as well as those of their followers 
with their swords, as is well-known by necessity from the history of the ancestors. The 
Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his progeny, has said: 

- "Whoever obeys me obeys Allah, and whoever disobeyes me disobeyes Allah; 
whoever obeys "Ali obeys me, and whoever disobeyes "Ali disobeys me too." 

- "Whoever deserts me deserts Allah, and whoever deserts you, O 'Ali, deserts me, too." 

- "O 'Ali! You are a leader in this life and a leader in the life hereafter; I love whoever 
loves you, and the one I love is loved by Allah; your enemy is my enemy, and my enemy 
is the enemy of Allah; woe unto whoever hates you after me." 

- "Whoever denounces "Ali denounces me, too, and whoever denounces me denounces 
Allah." 

- "Whoever hurts 'Ali hurts me, too, and whoever hurts me hurts Allah." 

- "Whoever loves 'Ali loves me, and whoever hates 'Ali hates me." 

- "Nobody loves you, O 'Ali, except a true believer, and nobody hates you except a 
hypocrite." 

- "O Allah! Befriend whoever befriends him, and be the enemy of whoever sets himself as 
his enemy; support whoever supports him, and forsake whoever forsakes him." 

One day, he looked at 'Ali, Fatima, al-Hasan and al-Husayn (as) and said: "I fight 
whoever fights you, and I am peaceful unto whoever is peaceful to you." Having covered 
them with a blanket, he (pbuh) said: "I fight whoever fights you, and grant asylum to 
whoever seeks peace with you; I am an enemy of your enemy." There are many such 
traditions which quite a few companions did not implement; nay, the latter's actions 
contradicted their injunctions in preference of their own desires since they sought their 
own self-interest. Those whose insight is keen know that all the very well-known 
traditions in honour of v Ali - which are several hundreds, such as the ones enjoining 
acceptance of his taking charge, forbidding everyone from becoming his enemy - are all 
proofs testifying to his great status and prestige, and to his lofty position in the eyes of 
Allah and His Messenger. We have narrated quite a few of them in these Letters, and what 
we have not narrated is many times more. 

You are, by the Grace of God, among those who are very well familiar with traditions and 
their meanings. Have you found any tradition which enjoins opposition and enmity 
towards him, or any particular one indicative of harming him, hating him, or bearing 
animosity towards him, or anything like hurting him and wronging him, denouncing him 



Sayyid 'Abd al-Husayn Sharaf al-Din al-Musawi 



Al-Muraja'at 261 
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from the Muslims' pulpits, or making that a tradition followed by the preachers who 
preach during Fridays and eids? Certainly not. But those who did all of these things never 
paid any attention to such traditions in spite of their abundance and sequential narration. 
They did not hinder them from behaving in any way that would best serve their political 
interests. They knew that he was the brother and friend of the Prophet (pbuh), his heir and 
confidant, the chief of his progeny, his Aaron over his nation, his son-in-law in his own 
right, the father of his descendants, the foremost to accept Islam, the most sincere in faith, 
the most knowledgeable, the most diligent in doing good deeds, the most clement, the 
strongest in conviction, the hardest worker in the cause of God, the most courageous, the 
most virtuous, the one possessing the most feats, the most cautious about the interest of 
Islam, the nearest to the Messenger of Allah, the closest to him (pbuh) in guidance, 
manners, and loftiness, the most exemplary in his deed, speech, or silence... But personal 
interests were to them above any other argument or consideration; so, why then the 
amazement at their preference to follow their own personal views regarding the imamate 
to following the spirit of the Ghadir hadith, for example? Yet isn't the Ghadir hadith but 
just one of several hundred others which they saw only through their own glasses, 
preferring their own views and considering their own interests? 

The Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his progeny, has also said: "The 
similitude of my Ahl al-Bayt among you is like that of Noah's ark; whoever boards it is 
saved, and whoever lags behind it is drowned," and "The similitude of my Ahl al-Bayt 
among you is like the Gate of Salvation to the children of Isra'il: forgiven are the sins of 
whoever enters through it." He, peace be upon him and his progeny, has also said: "The 
stars are the security of the inhabitants of the earth against drowning, and my Ahl al-Bayt 
are the nation's security against dissension; so, if any Arab tribe opposes them, they will 
all dispute with each other and become the party of Iblis (Eblis)," in addition to many such 
traditions all of which were ignored completely by them..., Wassalam. 

Sincerely, 

Sh 



Letter 101 

Why didn't the Imam Cite the Ahadith of Caliphate and Wisayat on the Saqifa 

Day? 



Rabf al-Thani 10, 1330 

Truth has manifested itself; praise to Allah, Lord of the Worlds. There remains only 
one last issue the nature of which seems to be disguised, wrapped in obscurity. 
Please mention it to uncover its veil and make its secret known. It is the fact that the 
Imam, during the incident of the saqifa, did not cite any of the texts regarding the 
caliphate and wisyat, to which you give so much attention, to al-Siddiq and the 
allegiance to him; so, are you more familiar with such texts than he is? Wassalam. 



Sayyid 'Abd al-Husayn Sharaf al-Din al-Musawi 



Al-Muraja'at 262 
Shi'i-Sunni dialogue 



Sincerely, 

S 



Letter 102 

I Why the Imam Abstained on the Saqifa Day from Citing Such Texts, 

II Reference to his and his Followers' Arguments Despite Obstacles. 



Rabf al-Thani 11, 1330 

1) Everybody knows that neither the Imam nor any of his supporters among the 
descendants of Hashim and others witnessed such an allegiance, nor did they enter that 
saqifa then. They were distracted from it and whatever went on inside it. They were totally 
preoccupied by their tremendous calamity: the demise of the Messenger of Allah, and their 
conducting of the appropriate funeral preparations for him, peace be upon him and his 
progeny, paying no attention to anything else. As soon as they finished burying him in his 
sacred resting place, those at the saqifa had already commenced their act, conducted the 
allegiance, and tightly tied their knot, being extremely careful in forbidding any speech or 
deed that would weaken their allegiance, affect their deal, or annoy their commoners; so, 
where were the Imam during the events of the saqifa, the giving or the taking of allegiance 
to al-Siddiq so that he might argue with them? How can he or anyone else be expected to 
argue after the allegiance had already been taken, and those who had a say had taken such 
measures? Can any one person in our present time face the authorities, uproot their power, 
and abolish their government? Would they leave such a person alone if he attempted to do 
so? Impossible. So, compare the past with the present, for neither people nor times have 
changed much. 

Yet "Ali (as) did not expect his arguments with them then to cause anything other than 
dissension. He preferred to lose what was his over its attainment under such 
circumstances. He feared that such dissension might harm Islam and its kalima, as we have 
previously explained, saying that he was inflicted in those days more than anyone else by 
two major catastropes: On one hand, caliphate, in its texts and wills, cried unto him and 
invoked him in a complaint that would make the heart bleed, and the oppressive dissension 
on the other warned him of an uprising in the peninsula, a possible rebellion of the Arabs 
that would sweep Islam away, threatening it with the hypocrites among the residents of 
Medina who were accustomed to hypocrisy, supported by the bedouins who, according to 
the text of the Book of Allah (9:101), are hypocrites, nay, even worse in disbelief and 
hypocrisy, so much so, that it would be better for them not to know the limits of what 
Allah has revealed unto His Messenger (9:97). These have become stronger by the loss of 
the Prophet (pbuh), peace be upon him and his progeny, and Muslims became like 
frightened cattle in a winter night, surrounded by assaulting jackels and wild beasts. 
Musaylamah the Liar, conspirator Talhah ibn Khuwaylid, and sorceress Sajah daughter of 
al-Harath, in addition to their rogues and hoodlums, were all trying their best to wipe Islam 



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out and crush the Muslims. Add to this the fact that the Romans, the followers of Kisra and 
Caesar, besides many others, were plotting against the Muslims. Still add to these other 
elements full of grudge against Muhammad, his progeny and companions, and full of 
hatred towards the message of Islam. All these parties desired to uproot Islam's 
foundations. These were active in doing so, rushing their steps, seeing that the wind was 
finally blowing in their direction, and the opportunity because of the departure of the 
Prophet (pbuh) to the Sublime Companion had come; so, they wished to make use of that 
opportunity before Islam regained its strength and resumed order. v Ali (as) was aware of 
both dangers, and it was only natural that he would offer his own right on the altar of 
sacrifice for the sake of the Muslims.JJJ 

But he also wanted to maintain his right for the caliphate and argue with those who 
departed from it in a way that would neither harm the Muslims, nor cause dissension 
among them, nor encourage their enemy to take advantage thereof. He, therefore, remained 
at home till he felt obligated, not forced, to leave it. Had he rushed to them, he would not 
have had any argument, nor would his followers have had any proof, but he secured, by 
taking such a stand, both the protection of the faith, and the maintaining of his own right to 
rule the Muslims. When he saw that preserving Islam and responding to the plots of its 
enemies depended during those days on calm and peace, he paved in person the way for 
calmness, preferring to make peace with those who had a say just to protect the nation and 
out of his concern about the faith, being concerned about religion and in preference of the 
good to come to the present one, implementing his jurisdic as well as moral obligation to 
prefer, while still opposing, what was most important to what was more important, since 
the circumstances then permitted neither the use of the sword, nor the response through 
one argument against another. 

2) In spite of all this, he and his descendants (as), in addition to the learned among his 
followers, used to follow wisdom when mentioning the will, publicizing for its clear texts, 
as is obvious to those who research, Wassalam. 

Sincerely, 

Sh 



[1] He, peace be upon him, has declared so in a letter which he sent to the people of Egypt 
with Malik al-Ashtar when he vested on him its government. He said in it: "Allah, praise 
be to Him, has sent Muhammad (pbuh) as a warner to the worlds and as master of all 
Messengers. When he, peace be upon him, left (this world), Muslims after him disputed 
among themselves. By Allah, I never dreaded nor expected the Arabs to remove such 
responsibility from his Household, nor would they distance me therefrom after him, but 
what alarmed me most was their leaning towards that person to swear allegiance to him; 
so, I controlled myself till I saw that people had deviated from Islam and started inviting 
everyone to wipe out Muhammad's faith. I, therefore, feared that if I did not support Islam 
and Muslims while witnessing the structure of Islam cracked or partially demolished, the 
catastrophe on me would be greater than missing your government which is nothing but 
the enjoyment of a few days after which it would vanish like a mirage, or disappear like 



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summer clouds;" so he rose in those events till wrongdoing was removed, and the religion 
became deeply rooted and settled. Refer to his statement in Nahjul-Balaghah. 



Letter 103 
Looking for His and His Followers' Arguments 

Rabf al-Thani 12, 1330 

When did the Imam do so? And when did his kin and supporters do that? Please 
acquaint us with a portion of it, Wassalam. 

Sincerely, 

S 



Letter 104 

I A Few Incidents When the Imam Argued, 
II The Argument of al-Zahra' (as). 



Rabf al-Thani 15, 1330 

1) The Imam used to be quiet in publicizing the texts pertaining to him, without using 
them for personal gains against his opponents out of his own concern about the safety of 
Islam and to safeguard the strength of Muslims. He often used to defend his silence and 
reluctance to demand it, in such circumstance, by saying: "A man is not blamed if he 
takes his time in obtaining what is his; the blame is on that who takes what does not 
belong to him."J_l_LHe used to apply certain methods crowned with manifest wisdom in 
disseminating the texts in his honour. 

Have you noticed what he did in the incident of the Rahba, when he gathered people 
during his caliphate to celebrate the Ghadir Day? He said to them: "I ask each Muslim of 
you who heard the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his progeny, say on the 
Ghadir Day what he said to stand and testify to what he had heard, and nobody should 
stand except those who have seen him;" thirty companions, including twelve participants 



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in the battle of Badr, testified to what they had heard of the Ghadir hadith as we have 
indicated above in Letter No. 56. This is the maximum that he could do under such 
critical circumstances due to v Ufhman's murder, and the mutiny in Basra and Syria. It is, 
indeed, the peak of wisdom in such publicity in those days, and what a praiseworthy 
effort that revived the Ghadir tradition from its tomb and brought it to life after it was 
almost buried for good! The crowds at the Rahba were reminiscent of those who 
witnessed the Prophet (pbuh) (pbuh) on Ghadir Khumm day taking v Ali (as) in his own 
eminent hand and addressing a hundred thousand or more of his nation to convey to them 
the message that he would be his successor. Thus, the Ghadir tradition is one of the most 
reliable among consecutive traditions; so, observe the Prophet's wisdom when he 
exhorted him in front of such thronging crowds, and be mindful of the wisdom of 
the wasi on that Friday when he asked them to testify, thus highlighting the truth in a 
quiet manner dictated by circumstances, and by a peaceful method the Imam preferred. 
Thus was his method in disseminating the covenant and publicizing for the tradition. He 
was the type of person who would attract the attention of the unaware through means 
which did not require making a lot of noise or creating bad feelings among people. 

Consider what the authors of books of traditions have quoted of his own hadith, peace be 
upon him, during the incident of the feast arranged by the Messenger of Allah, peace be 
upon him and his progeny, at the house of his uncle, the most dignified man among the 
people of Mecca, when he warned his near in kin. It is a lengthy and sacred tradition 
people have always considered as one of the proofs of Prophethood and the miracles of 
Islam due to its inclusion of the Prophetic miracle of feeding a large number of people 
with very little food. We have already quoted it in Letter No. 20. It concludes by stating 
that the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him and his progeny, took 'Ali (as) by the 
neck and said: "This is my brother, ^/zeexecutor of my will, and my own successor; so, 
listen to him and obey him." He used quite often to tell how the Messenger of Allah, 
peace be upon him and his progeny, said to him: "You are the wali of every believer after 
me," and he also quite often used to narrate this statement of the Prophet (pbuh): "Your 
status to me is like that of Aaron to Moses, except there will be no Prophet after me," and, 
reminescing of Ghadir Khumm, "Do not I have more authority over the believers than the 
believers themselves have?" They said: "Yes, indeed." He then said: "To whomsoever I 
have been a wali, this fAli (as)) is his wali," in the words of Ibn Abu v ?sim, as we 
explained at the conclusion of Letter No. 23, in addition to many such irrefutable texts. 
They have been publicized by the most trustworthy and reliable traditionists. This is all 
that he was able to do during those circumstances. ["Purposeful wisdom; so, how can 
the nuthur be of any use?"] 

On the Day of Shiira, he discharged his responsibility and warned others, sparing none of 
his own attributes or feats without using it as an argument. During the days of his 
caliphate, he often complained about the gross injustice done to him, painfully 
announcing his complaint from the pulpit, saying: "By God, that person vested it upon 
himself, knowing that my place from it was like the axle from the quern: From me does 
the stream of knowledge flow, and birds do not soar higher; so, I lowered against it my 
curtain and kept aloof therefrom. I had to opt between either fighting with an amputated 
arm, or be patient about a blind calamity in which the grown-ups become elderly and the 
youngsters grow gray hair, one wherein a mu 'mmsweats till he meets his Lord. I decided 
that to be patient was wiser; so I became patient while seeing eye sores, tongue-tied, 



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witnessing my inheritance being plundered," to the end of hisshaqshaqi sermon, which 
is khutba 3 in Nahjul Balaghah, page 25, Vol. 1. He often said: "O Lord! I seek Thy 
assistance against Quraysh and those who support them, for they have cut my flesh, 
demeaned my status, and disputed with me about what is mine, then they said: v It is only 
right that we take it, and that you should abandon it.'" Refer to either khutba 167 or page 
103, Vol. 2, of Nahjul Balaghah. In the same khutba, someone said to him: "You seem to 
be so much concerned about this matter." The Imam (as) answered: "No; by God you are 
more concerned about it than I am. I have demanded one of my own rights, while you 
have stood between it and my attaining thereof." He, peace be upon him, has also said: 
"By Allah, since the time when Allah took the life of his Messenger, peace be upon him 
and his progeny, till today, I have always been pushed away from my right, while others 
are preferred over me," as inkhutba 5, page 36, Vol. 1, of Nahjul Balaghah. 

He, peace be upon him, said once: "We have a right; if we do not attain it, we will have to 
mount old camels even if the journey is lengthy. "[21 He, peace be upon him, said in a 
letter he wrote to his brother v Aqil: "May the One who affects justice retaliate on my 
behalf against Quraysh who have separated me from my own kin and deprived me the 
support of my own maternal brother," as stated in epistle 36, page 67, Vol. 3, mNahjul 
Balaghah. He, peace be upon him, quite often used to say: "I looked around and found no 
supporter other than my Ahl al-Bayt whom I preferred to protect against death, overlook 
against my wish, and I remained patient, containing my anger though it is more bitter than 
colocynth [Citrullus Colocynthis]," as in khutba 25, page 62, Vol. 1, of Nahjul Balaghah. 

Some of his friends asked him once: "How did you keep your folk away from that post 
knowing that you have more right to it than anyone else?" He, as stated on page 79, Vol. 
2, of Nahjul Balaghah, statement 157, answered: "O fellow of Banu Asad! You are 
disturbed by such a mysterious matter to the extent that you ask your question 
awkwardly. Yet we are obligated to you due to our kinship, and you have the right to ask 
such a question. You have asked, so be informed that as regarding some people 
oppressing us in this regard, while they know that we are superior in lineage to them, and 
stronger in blood ties to the Messenger of Allah (pbuh), this came due to the selfishness 
of certain people who were supported by others. The government is only to Allah, and the 
return is unto Him on the Day of Judgment; so, do not ask me about the usurpation called 
for even inside his [Prophet's] own chambers..." He, peace be upon him, has also said: 
"Where are those who claim that they are more deeply rooted in knowledge than we are? 
They tell lies about us and flagrantly oppress us though Allah has raised our status and 
lowered theirs, granted us and deprived them, and permitted us to enter while ordering 
them out, and through us has He taken them out of the darkness of blindness into the light 
of guidance. The seeds of imamate have been planted in the wombs of the descendants of 
Hashim of Quraysh; it suits nobody else, and caliphate is appropriate for nobody other 
than them...," to the conclusion of statement 140, on page 36 and the succeeding pages, 
Vol. 2, of Nahjul Balaghah. 

Consider his statement in one of his sermons: "When the Messenger of Allah, peace be 
upon him and his progeny, passed away, some people turned back [in their covenant to 
him], aiming to take various paths [rather than just one Right Path], relying on treachery, 
favouring those who were not his kin, abandoning the path they were ordered to take in 
order to please him, thus moving the foundation stones of Islam from their places, using 



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other sinful substances in the building of its structure. They have entered into Islam 
through the doors of those who follow their own inclinations, going to extremes in their 
bewilderment, distracted like drunkards, following the sunnah of the descendants of 
Pharaoh, worshippers of this life, those who have deliberately abandoned their religion." 
Refer to this statement, which is cited at the beginning of page 25; it concludes sermon 2, 
Vol. 1, of Nahjul Balaghah, which he delivered after receiving the oath of allegiance, for 
it is one of the greatest. In it, he says: "Nobody can be compared with the progeny of 
Muhammad, peace be upon him, from all the members of this nation, and nobody can be 
the peer of those who have received His blessing. They are the corner-stones of the faith, 
the pillars of conviction; through them does the extremist return to moderation, and 
through them does the one who has left knowledge behind him retracts; they possess the 
characteristics of those who deserve to rule, and in them lie the covenant and the legacy. 
Now right has returned to its people and transferred back to its appropriate place." Add to 
this his statement cited in the context of sermon 84, page 145, Vol. 1, of Nahjul 
Balaghah in which he wonders about those who oppose him: "How amazed I am to see 
the error of these groups, disputing in their arguments about their religion, neither 
following in the footsteps of the Prophet (pbuh), nor the example of his wasi...\" 

2) Al-Zahra', peace be upon her, delivered very wise arguments in this regard. Two of her 
own statements were in wide circulation among Ahl al-Bayt (as), so much so that they 
used to require their children to memorize them just as they required them to memorize 
the entire text of the Holy Qur'an. They deal with those who "moved the foundation 
stones of the faith from their bases" and built them somewhere else. She said: 

"How dare they? Where have they moved it [caliphate] to, building it somewhere else 
other than at the haven of the Message, the foundations of Prophethood, the place where 
the faithful spirit [Gabriel] descends, the one who is the authority about secular as well as 
religious matters? This, indeed, is the manifest loss. Why do they hate al-Hasan's father 
so much? By Allah, they hate the strength of his sword, his might and astounding deeds, 
and his extra-ordinary effort in supporting the religion of Allah. By Allah, had they all 
yielded to his leadership, [31 he would have taken them to the easy path, without harming 
anyone. He would have brought them to an overflowing fountain of goodness, advised 
them in secrecy and in public, neither filling his belly with their own sustenance, nor 
satisfying his thirst nor hunger out of their own toil. The gates of mercy of the heavens 
and the earth would have been widely opened for them. Allah will punish them for the 
sins they were committing; so, come and listen to the story, and so long as you live, be 
amazed, and when you are amazed, the incident bemuses you... Where have they gone, 
and which nitche have they clung to? What an evil guardian they have taken, and what an 
evil bunch! How evil is the end of the oppressors who traded the tails for the hoofs, and 
the rumps for the chests! So, dusted are the noses of those who think that they have done 
well; they are the ones who fill the world with corruption without knowing it. Woe unto 
them! v Isn't that who guides to the truth more worthy of being followed than the one who 
does not guide? What is the matter with you? How do you judge?'"[4] 

up to the conclusion of her sermon which is a specimen of the speech of the purified 
progeny in this regard, and you may judge the rest by this one, Wassalam. 

Sincerely, 



Sayyid 'Abd al-Husayn Sharaf al-Din al-Musawi 



Al-Muraja'at 268 
Shi'i-Sunni dialogue 



Sh 



JT[ This statement is a short one dealing with his noble ojective, and it is included 
in Nahjul Balaghah. Refer to what the Mif tazilite scholar has said while explaining it on 
page 324, Vol. 4, of his Shark Nahjul Balaghah. 

[21 This statement is number 21 of his statements in the chapter dealing with "choice 
gems of his wisdom," page 155, Nahjul Balaghah. Sayyid al-Radi has commented on it in 
a very valuable commentary, and so has Shaykh Muhammad "Abdoh. Both deserve the 
attention of any scholar. 

[31 The reins passed on to him by the Messenger of Allah are those of governing the 
nation in the matters pertaining to its religion as well as the daily life. The meaning is that 
had they all been in consensus in submitting to such a government, yielding to such a 
leader, they would have been protected from harm. 

[41 This is quoted by Abu Bakr Ahmed ibn v Abdul- v Aziz al-Jawhari in his book Al-Saqifa 
and Fadak, from a chain of narrators including Muhammad ibn Zakariyya, Muhammad 
ibn v Abdul-Rahman al-Muhallabi, "Abdullah ibn Hammad ibn Sulayman who quotes his 
father, "Abdullah ibn al-Hasan who quotes his mother Fatima bint Husayn, ending with 
al-Zahra', peace be upon her. It is also narrated by Imam Abul-Fadl Ahmed ibn Abu 
Tahir, who died in 280, on page 23 of his bookBalaghat al-Nisa ' through Hariin ibn 
Muslim ibn Sa'dan, from al-Hasan ibn Alwan from Atiyyah al- v Awfi who narrated 
thiskhutba from a chain of narrators including "Abdullah ibn al-Hasan from his mother 
Fatima bint al-Husayn, from her grandmother al-Zahra', peace be upon her. Our own 
fellows narrate this khutba from Suwayd ibn Ghaflah ibn Awsajah al-Ju v fi from al-Zahra', 
peace be upon her. Al-Tibrisi has quoted it in his book Al-Ihtijaj, and al-Majlisi in his 
book Biaar al- Anwar, and it is narrated by many other trustworthy narrators. 



Letter 105 
Requesting Narration of Other Such Incidents 

Rabf al-Thani 16, 1330 

We aspire to complete the benefit if you quote others besides the Imam and al- 
Zahra', and you will thus do us a favour, Wassalam. 

Sincerely, 

S 



Sayyid 'Abd al-Husayn Sharaf al-Din al-Musawi 



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Letter 106 

I Ibn 'Abbas's Argument, 

II Arguments of al-Hasan and al-Husayn, 

III Arguments of Prominant ShTah Sahabah, 

IV Reference to their Applying the Will as an Argument. 



Rabi" al-Thani 18, 1330 

1) May I invite your attention to the dialogue between Ibn "Abbas and "Umer in 
which the latter, in a lengthy conversation between both men, asked: "O Ibn 
"Abbas! Do you know what stopped your folks [from demanding the caliphate] after 
Muhammad (pbuh)?" Ibn "Abbas narrates saying: "I hated to answer "Umer's 
question, so I said to him: "If I do not know, the commander of the faithful [i.e. 
"Umer] knows.'" "Umer said: "[Some people simply] hated that both prophethood 
and caliphate be confined to your House; so, they were happy about their scheme. 
Quraysh sought it for thmselves, and were able to obtain it." I said: "O commander 
of the faithful! Do you permit me to say something and promise to control your 
anger?" He answered in the affirmative; therefore, Ibn "Abbas said: "As regarding 
your statement, O commander of the faithful, that Quraysh sought it for themselves 
and were successful in obtaining it, I say that had Quraysh sought what Allah had 
chosen for them, their choice would have been unobjectionable and unblamed. As 
regarding your statement that they hated to see both prophethood and caliphate in 
our House, I say that Allah, the Exalted and the Sublime, has described some people 
to be malicious, saying, \„ that is so because they hated what Allah has revealed, so 
He rendered their deeds vain.'" "Umer then said: "Impossible, O Ibn "Abbas, for I 
heard things about you which I hate to believe else your status in my eyes should be 
reduced." I asked: "What are they, O commander of the faithful? If they are true, 
they should not lower my status in your esteem, and if they are not, I am capable of 
defending myself against false charges.' "Umer then said: "It has come to my 
knowledge that you say that they have deprived you of it [caliphate] out of envy, 
oppression and injustice.' I said: "As regarding your statement, O commander of the 
faithful, that it was oppression, then that has become quite obvious to those who are 
ignorant as well as to those who are clement. As regarding your statement about 
envy, then Adam was envied, and we are his descendants who also are envious.' 
"Umer then said: "Impossible, impossible; your hearts, O descendants of Hashim, 
have become filled with envy that can never dissipate.' I therefore said: "Wait, O 
commander of the faithful, do not attribute this to the hearts of those whom Allah 
has purified with a perfect purification. '"JT[ 

He argued with him in another incident, asking: "How did you leave your cousin?" 
Ibn "Abbas said he thought "Umer meant "Abdullah ibn Ja"fer; so, he answered: "I 



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left him in the company of his friends." He said: "I did not mean him; I meant the 
greatest among you, Ahl al-Bayt." Ibn "Abbas said: "I left him exiled, irrigating 
while reciting the Qur'an." "Umer said: "O "Abdullah! I implore you not to be shy 
but tell me if he is still concerned about the issue of caliphate." He answered in the 
affirmative. Then "Umer asked: "Does he claim that the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) 
has selected him for it?" Ibn "Abbas answered: "Yes, indeed; moreover, I even 
asked my father if there was any statement made by the Messenger of Allah 
regarding selecting him for the caliphate, and my father informed me that that was 
the truth." "Umer then said: "The Messenger of Allah held him in very high esteem 
through his speeches and actions in a way that left no argument nor excuse for 
anyone, [21 and he kept testing the nation regarding him for some time;£31 nay, even 
when he was sick [prior to his demise], he wished to nominate him for it, but it was 
I who stopped him. "[41 

In a third dialogue between both men, "Umer said: "O Ibn "Abbas! I can see how 
wronged your friend ["Ali (as)] is." Ibn "Abbas said: "O commander of the faithful, 
then affect justice on his behalf." Ibn "Abbas said: "But "Umer pulled his hand from 
mine and went away whispering to himself for a good while. Then he stopped; so, I 
rejoined him, and he said to me: "O Ibn "Abbas! I do not think that his people 
denied him [the caliphate] for any reason other than his being too young for it.' I 
said to him: "By Allah, neither Allah nor His Messenger regarded him as too young 
when they both ordered him to take Siirat Bara'a (Qur'an, Chapter 9) from him 
[from Abu Bakr].' Having heard this, he turned away from me and started walking 
fast; so, I left him alone. "[51 

How often has "Abdullah ibn "Abbas, who is the scribe of the Muslim nation, the 
spokesman of the Hashimites, and cousin of the Messenger of Allah (pbuh), 
encountered such stances? In Letter No. 26, you have come to see how he argues 
with the oppressive party by citing a tradition that counts ten exclusive merits of 
"Ali (as). It is a lengthy and eminent tradition in which he quotes the Prophet (pbuh) 
asking his cousins: "Who among you would be my supporter in [matters related to] 
this life and the life hereafter?" They declined, but "Ali (as) said: "I support you in 
this life as well as the life to come." The Prophet (pbuh) then said to "Ali (as): "You 
are my wall in this life and the life to come." In another tradition, Ibn "Abbas 
narrates that during the Tabuk raid, the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) went out, 
accompanied by many people, and "Ali (as) asked him: "Shall I accompany you?" 
The Messenger of Allah denied his request; so, "Ali (as) wept; whereupon the 
Prophet (pbuh) said to him: "Are you not pleased that your status to me is like that 
of Aaron to Moses, except there is no Prophet (pbuh) after me? I ought not leave 
except after you represent me in my absence." The Messenger of Allah has also told 
him: "You are the wall of every believer after me," and "Whoever accepts me as 
his wali, "Ali (as) [henceforth] is his mawla." 

2) The dignitaries among the descendants of Hashim often argued likewise. Once 
al-Hasan ibn "Ali (as) came to Abu Bakr who had seated himself on the pulpit of the 
Messenger of Allah (pbuh) and told him to get down from a place his father was 
more worthy of. Al-Husayn (as) is reported to have said similarly to "Umer who 



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was also seated on the same pulpit. T61 

3) Books written by imamites who dealt with this topic cite many incidents wherein 
the Hashimites and their followers among the sahabah and tabVin argued likewise, 
and they ought to be reviewed by those who are interested in their contents. Suffices 
here to cite the book of arguments by imam al-Tibrisi in which he quotes statements 
made by the Omayyad Khalid ibn Sa v id ibn al-"?s, [71 Salman al-Farisi, Abu Tharr 
al-Ghifari, 'Ammar ibn Yasir, al-Miqdad, Buraydah al-Aslami, Abul-Haytham ibn 
al-Tihan, Sahl and 'Uthman sons of Hanif, Khuzaymah ibn Thabit of the two 
Shahadas, Ubayy ibn Ka'b, Abu Ayyiib al-Ansari, and many others among those 
who researched the history of Ahl al Bayt and of their followers. Yet they never 
missed any opportunity to prove their point by citing explicit or implicit references, 
strongly or smoothly worded, speeches and writings, poetry and prose, according to 
whatever their circumstances, though critical, permitted. 

4) They repeatedly referred to the will, using it as an argument, as is well-known by 
researchers, Wassalam. 

Sincerely, 

Sh 



ril We have quoted it verbatim from Al-Tarikh al-Kamil by Ibn al-Athir who 
includes it at the conclusion of "Umer's biography among the events of the year 23 
A.H., page 24, Vol. 3, and it is also quoted by the Mu'tazilite scholar in 'Umer's 
biography, too, page 107, Vol. 3, of Shark Nahjul Balaghah 

£21 He means that the speech of the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) praising "Ali 
indicates that 'AH enjoys quite a lofty status, obviously an admission by v Umer. 

[31 He means that the Prophet (pbuh), due to praising 'Ali in such wise words, is 
testing the nation to see if it would accept him as his successor. 

[41 This is quoted by Imam Abul-Fadl Ahmed ibn Abu Tahir in his book Tarikh 
Baghdad, indicating his reliable source to be Ibn v Abbas. It is also quoted by the 
Mu'tazilite scholar who discusses "Umer in his Sharh Nahjul Balaghah, page 97, 
Vol.3. 

[51 This dialogue is quoted by authors of books of biographies in their discussions 
of 'Umer, and we have quoted it here fromSharh Nahjul Balaghah by the 
Mu'tazilite scholar; so, refer to page 105 of its third volume. 

[61 Ibn Hajar has quoted both cases in his fifth maqsad of the verse enjoining 
kindness to the Prophet's kin, and it is verse 14, of the ones dealt with in Chapter 1 1 
of his book Al-Sawalq al-Muhriqa; so, refer to page 160 of this reference. Al-Dar 



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Qutni has quoted the case of al-Hasan with Abu Bakr, and Ibn Sa'd has quoted the 
case of al-Husayn with "Umer in his biography of the latter in his Tabaqat. 

[71 Khalid ibn Sa v id ibn al- v ?s was among those who rejected Abu Bakr's caliphate; 
he refused for three months to swear allegiance to him, as stated by a group of 
reliable Sunnis such as Ibn Sa'd in his biography of Khalid in his Tabaqat, page 70, 
Vol. 4, adding that when Abu Bakr dispatched troops to Syria, he prepared the 
standard for him and came in person to his house, but v Umer said to Abu Bakr: "Do 
you give charge to Khalid after having heard what he has said?" He continued 
trying till he sent Abu 'Arwah al-Dawsi with the message that "The successor of the 
Messenger of Allah (pbuh) asks you to return our standard." He did so saying: 
"Your government has never pleased us, nor has your deposition harmed us." 
Having heard such a statement, Abu Bakr came to him to apologize, and he 
earnestly requested him not to mention v Umer in public. All writers who mention 
the incident of this campaign to Syria mention this incident as well, for it is one of 
such detailed incidents. 



Letter 107 
When did they Mention the Will? 

Rabi v al-Thani 19, 1330 

When did they mention the will to the Imam, and when did they use it in their 
argument? I do not think that they mentioned it other than in the presence of the 
mother of the believers who denied it, as we explained before, Wassalam. 

Sincerely, 

S 

Letter 108 

The Recommendation as Evidence 

Rain al-Thani 22, 1330 

Yes, indeed, they did. The Commander of the Faithful (as) mentioned it while preaching 
from the pulpit, and we have in Letter No. 104 quoted its text. Anyone who quotes the 



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tradition of the Household on the day of warning has done so, quoting 'Ali (as). We 
have also quoted it in Letter No. 20. It contains the explicit text recommending him for 
the caliphate. Imam Abu Muhammad al-Hasan (as), grandson of the Prophet (pbuh), and 
master of all the the young of Paradise, delivered a sermon when his father the 
Commander of the Faithful (as) was assassinated in which he said: "I am the descendant 
of the Prophet (pbuh), and the son of his vicegerent," as quoted by al-Hakim on page 
172, Vol. 3, of his authentic Mustadrak. Imam Ja'fer al-Sadiq (as), as on page 254, Vol. 
3, of Sharh Nahjul Balaghah, at the end of the commentary on the qasVa sermon, has 
said: "Even before the [Islamic] Message became public, 'Ali (as), while in the company 
of the Messenger of Allah (pbuh), used to see the light and hear the voice [of angels]." 
He also quotes him (pbuh) saying: "Had I not been the seal of Prophets, you fAli (as)] 
would have been made a partner in my Prophethood; yet since you cannot be a prophet, 
you certainly are the wasi and the heir of a Prophet ," according to Buraydah. Such 
usage is common among all the Imams of Ahl al-Bayt, and it is a necessity among them 
and their followers from the time of the sahabah till now. 

Salman al-Farisi is reported saying that he heard the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) saying: 
"The one who is my wasi, confidant, the best I leave behind me to execute my will and 
cancel my debts, is 'Ali ibn Abu Talib (as)." Abu Ayyiib al-Ansari has reported a 
tradition in which he says that he heard the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) saying to Fatima 
(as): "Have you not come to know that Allah, the Exalted and omni-Scient, cast a look at 
the inhabitants of the earth and chose your father for His Messenger, then He cast a 
second look and chose your husband, then He inspired me to marry you to him and take 
him as my vicegerent?" Buraydah has narrated a tradition in which he says that he heard 
the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) saying: "For every Prophet there is a vicegerent and heir, 
and my vicegerent and heir is 'Ali ibn Abu Talib (as)," and both ahadith of Abu Ayyiib 
and Salman have already been quoted above in Letter No. 68. Whenever Jabir ibn Yazid 
al-JuTi narrated a tradition from Imam al-Baqir (as), he used to say, as stated in Jabir's 
biography in al-Thahbi's Al-Mizan, "The wasi of wasis has narrated a tradition to me..., 
etc." Umm al-Khayr daughter of al-Harish al-Bariqi delivered an eloquent speech in 
Siffin urging the Kufians to fight Mu'awiyah in which she said: "Hurry, may Allah be 
merciful unto you, to support the just Imam, the faithful wasi, the greatest truthful," as 
quoted by Imam Abul-Fadl Ahmed ibn Abu Tahir al-Baghdadi on page 41 of his 
workBalaghat al-Nisa ' stating his source to be al-Sha'bi. 

This is what some ancestors have quoted while lauding the recommendation in their 
sermons and speeches, and whoever researches their biographies will find them applying 
the title "wasi" to the Commander of the Faithful (as) as freely as they would call 
anything by its name, so much so that the author ofTaj al-' Arils says on page 392, Vol. 
10, while explaining the term "wasi": "[Pronounced] like ghani, wasi is the title of v Ali 
(as), may Allah be pleased with him." 

As regarding dealing with this theme in their poetry, this cannot all be cited here due to 
its abundance, but we quote of it what serves the purpose to make a point. v Abdullah ibn 
'Abbas ibn 'Abdul-Muttalib has described him as: 

The Messenger's wasi, chosen from his Household; 



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His valiant knight when a challenge is posed. 

Al-Mughirah ibn al-Harith ibn 'Abdul-Muttalib has said these verses in which he 
encourages the people of Iraq to fight Mif awiyah in Siffin: 

The wasi of the Messenger of Allah is your chief, 

His son-in-law, promoted Allah's Mushaf Sharif. 

'Abdullah ibn Abu Sufyan ibn al-Harth ibn 'Abdul-Muttalib has said: 

Among us is v Ali (as), hero of Khaybar, now in ruin, 

The hero of Badr, too, when troops retreated; 

He is wasi of the Chosen Prophet (pbuh) and his cousin, 

So, who can attain his lofty status, only to him meted? 

Abul-Haytham ibn al-Tihan, one of the heroes of Badr, composed verses to recite during 
the Battle of the Camel in which he said: 

The wasi is our Imam and wali in word and deed, 

No secret left; what was hidden is now revealed. 

Khuzaymah ibn Thabit, of the two Shahadas, a hero of Badr, recited verses which he, 
too, composed during the Battle of the Camel in which he said: 

O wasi of the Prophet! The battle has shaken the foes, 

And caravans have been dispatched to deal blows. 

He, may Allah be pleased with him, has also said: 

O 'Ayesha! Leave 'Ali and the names you call him, too, 

For what you call him is certainly not true; 

He is but the wasi from the Prophet's clan, 

The one to testify to that is but you, says everyone. 

'Abdullah ibn Badil ibn Warqa' al-Khuza'i, a hero among thesahabah, who was 
martyred in Siffin together with his brother 'Abdul-Rahman, said the following on the 
incident of the Battle of the Camel: 



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my people! What a great calamity Satan brought, 
Battle the enemy, for the wasi of the Prophet is fought. 

Among the verses said by the Commander of the Faithful himself in Siffin were these: 

If Ahmed were told that his wasi is indeed 

Equalled to a wretch, he would surely be displeased. 

Jarir ibn 'Abdullah al-Bijli, a sahabi, sent verses to Shurhabil ibn al-Samt in which he 
mentioned "Ali (as) saying: 

Among all other members of the Prophet's clan, 

He is wasi of the Messenger of ar-Rahman, 

His Messenger's protecting knight, 

A man proverbial in courage and might. 

"Umer ibn Harithah al-Ansari, in a poem lauding Muhammad son of the Commander of 
the Faithful, better known as Ibn al-Hanafiyya, said: 

Like the wasi, and after the Messenger named, 

The colour of his standard is crimson red. 

When people swore the oath of allegiance to "Ali (as) after "Uthman, v Abdul-Rahman 
ibn Ja'il said these verses: 

1 swear you have allied yourselves to one 
Whose concern about the faith is well-known, 
Supported by the Almighty: virtuous, with no sin, 
" Ali, wasi of the Chosen one and his cousin, 

The first to offer ritual prayers, 

One endowed with piety and honours. 

A man of the Azd tribe said the following during the Battle of the Camel: 

This is "Ali; 



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The Prophet's wasi 

On the Day of Salvation; 

The Prophet told the nation: 

"This is a brother of mine! 

"And successor when my sun ceases to shine." 

The wise heeded and kept it in mind, 

The wretch forgot and left it behind. 

During the Battle of the Camel, a young man from the tribe of Zabbah, who was trained 
in 'Ayesha's camp, came out and said: 

We are children of Zabbah, enemies of " Ali, 

The one who is known for long as the wasi, 

A brave knight during the time of our Nabi, 

I am not blind about the virtues of 'Ali, 

I only mourn the murder of the son of "Uthman, the taqi. 

Sa'id ibn Qays al-Hamadani, who fought in 'Ali's camp, said the following on the Battle 
of the Camel: 

What a battle that has kindled a fire! 

Breaking the spears of every knight, 

Tell the wasi: Qahtan approaches in desire, 

Call upon them to aid Hamadan with their might, 

They are their kin, 

They are their children. 

Ziyad ibn Labid al-Ansari, one of "Ali's companions, composed these verses during the 
Battle of the Camel: 

How do you see the Ansar in a fierce battle faring? 



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We are people never afraid to die; 

In supporing the wasi, we attack with daring, 

The Ansar are serious, their spirits high. 

" Ali son of 'Abdul-Muttalib do we support 

Against those who, about him, lied in their import. 

Tell the liars, whose conscience is cheap, 

A miserable harvest shall they forever reap. 

Hajar ibn 'Adi al-Kindi said on the same occasion: 

Lord! Protect 'Ali whose deeds You bless, 

The pious believer, the caller for Your Oneness. 

This is the view not of a depraved nor a deceiver, 

He is but a divinely inspired and guided leader, 

Protect him, Lord, and protect Your Prophet's Call 

Through his wali and the wasi of each and all. 

'Umer ibn Ahjiyah composed a poem lauding the address of al-Hasan, delivered after 
that of Ibn al-Zubayr, during the Battle of the Camel saying: 

Hasan of goodness, like your father in virtue and grace, 

Among us you have taken a lofty, exemplary place. 

You have delivered a speech whereby Allah exposed 

The lies of the enemies of your father who posed 

Prattling, like Ibn al-Zubayr, the man of shame. 

Ask even skeptics, and they will tell you his name. 

Allah has insisted to lower in infamy his head, 

And raise that of the clement son of al-wasi instead. 



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Thou hast undoubtedly chosen Thy own Nabi, 

And Thou also appointed his honourable wasi. 

Zajr ibn Qays al-JuTi composed these verses also during the Battle of the Camel: 

The Lord salutes Ahmed, Messenger of the King 

Who grants him many a blessing, 

After the Messenger of the King our Caliph will succeed, 

A man worthy of authority-a knight true in word and deed: 

Ali I meant, the Prophet's wasi, bringing to the Path 

All the depraved and strayers who incurred the divine Wrath. 

Al-Ash v ath ibn Qays al-Kindi has said: 

The messenger of the Imam has come to us, so be it 

That every Muslim in Ali's army speedily enlist, 

He is messenger of the wasi, the wasi of the Messenger, 

Foremost in feats, virtues, piety of every believer. 

... and Also: 

A message from the Imam we have received 

From Ali the virtuous, Ali of Hashim, 

Son-in-law of the Prophet (pbuh), his vizier indeed, 

The best in the nation and in every realm. 

Al-Nu"man ibn al-"Ajlan al-Zarqi al-Ansari said the following during the Battle of 
Siffin: 

Since the wasi is our leader, how can there be division? 

Nay! No bewilderment, no confusion, do not slacken; 

So, leave the depraved Mu'awiyah and follow the religion 



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Of the wasi, and praise the Lord of man and jinn. 

"Abdul-Rahman ibn Thu'ayb al-Aslami has said the following in a poem threatening 
Mif awiyah with the Iraqi troops: 

They are led by none other than the wasi 

To rid you of misguidance and uncertainty. fJJ 

"Abdullah ibn Abu Saufyan ibn al-Harith ibn "Abdul-Muttalib has said: 

The one in charge after Muhammad is "Ali who 

On all occasions did defend, support and stand. 

He is the wasi of the Messenger, nothing is new; 

His peer, the first to pray with him and lend him hand. 

Khuzaymah ibn Thabit, of the two shahadas, has said: 

He is wasi of the Messenger out of all his clan 

His defending knight since the very beginning, 

The first to pray, preceded by no man 

Save the Lady chosen by the One Who Grants blessing. 

Zafar ibn Huthayfah al-Asdi has said: 

Surround Ali, O men, and support him, 

For he is the wasi and the first Muslim. £21 

Abul-Aswad al-Du'ali has said: 

I love Muhammad passionately, and to me 

Very dear are: "Abbas, Hamzah, and the wasi. 

Al-Nu"man ibn "Ajlan, an Ansar poet and dignitary, said these verses in a poem 
addressed to Ibn al-"?s narrated by al-Zubayr ibn Bakkar in his Muwaffaqiyyat. It is 
transmitted by the Mu"tazilite scholar on page 13, Vol. 3, of his Shark Nahjul Balaghah, 
but Ibn "Abd al-Birr quotes this poem stating the biography of al-Nu"man in his IstFab, 
omitting the name of the witness from it ("... and thus do they behave (Qur'an, 27:34)": 



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You underestimated Ali who is the most fit, 

Albeit if you knew, or did not know it; 

For he, assisted by Allah, guides unto Him and indeed 

Forbids debauchery, oppression and every wrongful deed; 

The wasi of the Chosen Prophet (pbuh) and his cousin 

Killer of knights who are misguided, unbelieving. 

Al-Fadl ibn al-' Abbas has said these verses which are quoted by Ibn al-Athir at the end 
of the latter's discussion of 'Uthman, on page 43, Vol. 3, of his work Al-Tarikh al- 
Kamil, commenting that v Uthman is "the best of people besides the three men of the 
[Prophet's] house." 

The best of people and of every believer 

After the one chosen to be Messenger 

Is the wasi according to people who remember. 

And he is first to perform the rite of prayer 

And the like of the Messenger; 

The first at Badr to deal a deadly blow 

To those who broke the divine Law. 

Hassan ibn Thabit has said these verses in which he praises Ali on behalf of all the 
Ansar. They are quoted by al-Zubayr ibn Bakkar in his Muwqffaqiyyat, and recorded by 
Ibn Abul-Hadid on page 15, Vol. 2, of his work Sharh Nahjul Balaghah: 

You are the most faithful to the Prophet among us 

Worthy of his recommendation; for who else surapss 

You in it, who else? Aren't you his brother 

In true guidance, and his wasi, 

The best scholar of the Qur'an and all other 

Ahadith of the blessed Nabi? 



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Some poets said these verses addressing al-Hasan ibn v Ali (as), peace be upon both of 
them, as quoted by Shaykh Muhammad 'Ali Hashshu al-Hanafi al-Saydawi in the 
footnote to page 65 of his book A'thar Thawat al-Siwar, when he discussed both 
Ghanima daughter of v ?mir, and Mu'awiyah, saying that she recited this verse before 
Mu'awiyah in a statement she made responding to his own: 

The most dignified of men, son of the wasi, 

Grandson of the Prophet, son of Ali. 

Umm Sinan daughter of Khaytff amah ibn Kharsha'ah al-Mathhaji has said the following 
verses addressing and lauding Ali (as); they are mentioned by Imam Abul-Fadl Ahmed 
ibn Abu Tahir al-Baghdadi when he discusses Umm Sinan on page 67 of Balaghat al- 
Nisa'. They are also quoted from Umm Sinan by Shaykh Muhammad v Ali Hashshu al- 
Hanafi al-Saydawi at the end of page 78 of his ?thar Thawat al-Siwar. 

You were among us, after Muhammad, his trusted successor 

He selected you, and of his trust you proved a protector. 

This much of the poetry contemporary to the Commander of the Faithful (as) is what we 
have been able to quote in such a short letter. If we review the poetry composed after 
him, then we will be authoring a voluminous book beyond the writing of which we 
would still apologize for our work being incomplete. Yet to quote all such poetry may 
become boring, and it may cause us to digress from the main subject-matter. So, let us 
be satisfied with quoting only the most famous poets, and let us judge the rest according 
to what is quoted here. 

In his celebrated poem, al-Kumait ibn Ziyad has thus lauded the descendants of Hashim: 

He is the wasi protecting the throne of the nation 

Against collapse and disintegrationJ31 

The embodiment of virtue, glory and goodness, 

Solving the problems with order and firmness. 

The wasi, the wali,[41 the knight 

Courageous, brave: his star was bright, 

The wasi of the wasi, determined and wise 

In battle-fields, you hear his enemy's agony cries. 

Kuthayyir ibn 'Abdul-Rahman ibn al-Aswad ibn v ?mir al-Khuza'i, better known as 



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Kuthayyir 'Azza, has said: 

The wasi of the Chosen Prophet and his cousin; he 

Emancipates those in bondage, and judges with equity. 

Abu Tammam al-Ta'i has said the following in one of his poems the rhyme of which 
rhymes with "r's":f51 

You plotted against his wasi and deceived before; 

You cooked it, unprecedented, unmatched in lore, 

Against the Prophet's brother, son-in-law, who bore 

Feats of valour, while your plots opened the door 

To mischief: peerless in brother, son-in-law...; say no more; 

To the Prophet he was like Aaron to Moses of yore... 

Du'bal ibn Ali al-Khuza v i has said the following in his euology of the Master of Martyrs 
[Imam Husayn (pbuh)]: 

The head of the son of Muhammad's daughter and his wasi, 

men, is being raised atop a spear for all to see...! 

Abul-Tayyib al-Mutanabbi, when rebuked for stopping his praise of Ahl al-Bayt, as 
recorded in his diwan (collection of poems) said: 

1 have no pretext for leaving the praise of the wasi 

His light dominates, his shade expands unto you and me: 

For when something elongates, it stands on its own, 

Attributes of the sun's light are never gone. 

He also said the following verses in his praise of Abul-Qasim Tahir ibn al-Husayn ibn 
Tahir al- v Alawi, as also recorded in hisdiwan: 

He is son of the Messenger of Allah and of his wasi, 

Alike unto them when I diligently compare and see. 

Verses such as these are innumerable, uncountable, Wassalam. 



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Sincerely, 
Sh 



JT[ This verse, and all the poetic verses and martials which precede it, are quoted in the 
books of biographies and chronicles, especially the ones dealing with the battles of the 
Camel and Siffin. They have been quoted in their entirety by the researching scholar Ibn 
Abul-Hadid on page 47 and its following pages up to page 50, Vol. 1, of his Shark 
Nahjul Balaghah, Egyptian edition, where he explains the khutba of the Commander of 
the Faithful (as) referring to Muhammad's progeny (as) and to what they have said about 
him, including the following: "They have the distinction of being divinely granted the 
right to rule, and in them the Prophet's will is preserved, and they are the ones who 
inherit his legacy." Having quoted these verses and martials, he says verbatim: "The 
verses containing this word "wasiyya' [will] are numerous, but we have mentioned here 
some of them where there is reference to the two parties (meaning Abu Mikhnaf s book 
dealing with the Battle of Camel, and Nasr ibn Muzahim's book dealing with the Battle 
of Siffin); besides these, the references are uncountable and innumerable. We would 
have filled many pages of them had we not feared boredom and monotony." 

[21 Zafr's verse, and both couplets composed by Khuzaymah before it, in addition to the 
couplets composed by Abu Sufyan which preceded them, are all narrated by Imam al- 
Iskafi in his book Naqd al-^Uthmaniyya, and they are transmitted by Ibn Abul-Hadid at 
the end of his commentary on the qasTa sermon on page 258 and the pages following it, 
Vol. 3, of Sharh Nahjul Balaghah, Egyptian edition. 

[3_1 When scholar Shaykh Muhammad Mahmiid al-Raffi came to the conclusion of his 
commentary on this verse in his own commentary on the verses composed by the poet 
al-Kumait in praise of the descendants of Hashim, he said: "Meaning v Ali, may Allah 
glorify his countenance, who is named wasi because the Messenger of Allah awsa [left a 
will] regarding him." The same is narrated about Ibn Buraydah who quotes his father 
citing the Prophet (pbuh) saying: "For every Prophet there is awasi, and v Ali is 
my wasi and the heir of my legacy." Al-Tirmithi states that the Prophet (pbuh) is quoted 
saying: "To whomsoever I have been a master, this v Ali is his master." Al-Bukhari 
quotes Ibn Sa'd saying that the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) headed to Tabiik, leaving 
v Ali (as) behind. v Ali (as) asked him: "Do you thus leave me with children and women?" 
He said: "Are you not pleased that your status to me is like that of Aaron to Moses, 
except there will be no prophet after me?" Ibn Qays al-Raqiyyat has said: 

Among us are: Ahmed the Prophet, the truthful, the pious, the man of wisdom; 

And v Ali and JaTer with two wings: They are the wasi, and the man of martyrdom. 

This is something which poets used to always say about v Ali (as) with a great 
elaboration. Then he testifies to the poetry we have first quoted by Kuthayyir 'Azzah. 

[41 Muhammad Mahmiid al-Raffi, the commentator, saysverbatim: "Meaning 



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vicegerent after the Messenger of Allah." 

[51 The poem starts with: "Gazelles that made the dusty dunes glitter like stars," which 
is included in his diwan (collection of poems). 



Letter 109 

Why do Some Fanatics Question the Derivation of the ShTa School of 

Muslim Law from the Imams of Ahl al-Bayt (as)? 



Rabf al-Thani 23, 1330 

We, in our Letter No. 19, had indicated that some fanatics question the 
derivation of your school of thought, in its roots and branches of religion, from 
the Imams of Ahl al-Bayt, and we wished to ask you about this matter. Now is 
the time to ask such a question; so, could you please answer it in a way that 
would refute their claim? Wassalam. 

Sincerely, 

S 



Letter 110 

I ShTah Faith is Sequentially Derived from the Imams of Ahl al-Bayt, 

II Advancement of ShPahs in Recording Knowledge During the 

Sahabah's Epoch, 

III Their Authors Contemporary to the Tabnn, and the Latter's 

Followers. 



Rain al-Thani 29, 1330 

1) All those endowed with wisdom and discretion know by necessity that the derivation 
of the roots and branches of the Shi v ah imamite faith is from their forefathers and 
ancestors ending with the purified progeny. Their views, therefore, are conducive to 
those of the Imams of the purified progeny in the roots and branches of the faith, as well 
as all deductions arrived at from studying the Book and the Sunnah, or in any matter 
related to them or to all branches of theological science. They do not rely in their 
understanding of the latter except upon such progeny, and they refer to none other than 



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them. They worship Allah, the Exalted, and seek nearness to Him, Praised be He, 
through the faith of the Imams of Ahl al-Bayt, without seeing any deviation therefrom, 
nor desiring any substitute. This has been the policy of their good ancestors since the 
time of the Commander of the Faithful, al-Hasan, al-Husayn, and the nine Imams from 
the progeny of al-Husayn (as) till our time. Those who have learned the roots and 
branches of the faith from Ahl al-Bayt are quite a few reliable Shi'ahs, and the number 
of those who learned from the latter is much larger. The number of those known for 
piety, verification and correction is more than sequential. They have narrated all this to 
those who succeeded them through tawatur, and after them it was thus narrated to 
others, and so on. This has been the case with each and every generation, till it reached 
us as clear as mid-day sun, without any cloud obstructing it.JJJ 

We now, in understanding the roots and branches, are followers of the Imams from the 
progeny of the Messenger (pbuh). We have quoted our forefathers who all quote them. 
This has been the case in all generations till the time of the Naqis, "Askaris, Rizas, 
Jawads, Kazims, Sadiqs, "Abidins, Baqirs, both grandsons of the Prophet (pbuh), peace 
be upon all of them, and finally the Commander of the Faithful (as), not counting Shi' ah 
ancestors who kept company with the Imams of Ahl al-Bayt (as), learning the religious 
injunctions from them, quoting them while discussing Islamic knowledge. 

There is no room here to count all of them and read their roll call. Suffices you what the 
pens of their renown scholars have written of interesting works a list of which does not 
fit in this narration. They derived all that from the light of the Imams of guidance, the 
progeny of Muhammad, peace be upon him and them, quoting it from their own oceans 
of knowledge, hearing it directly from them. They are the scribes of their knowledge 
and wisdom. Their works were authored during the life-time of those purified ones, and 
such works became references for all Shirans who succeeded them. Through them, the 
superiority of the sect of Ahl al-Bayt manifested itself over all other Islamic sects. 

We do not know any follower of the four Sunni Imams, for example, who authored a 
book during the life-time of their Imams. Rather, people authored works in abundance 
dealing with their faith after those Imams had left this world, when it was decided 
that taqlid should be confined to their sects alone. During their life-time, they were just 
like any other contemporary jurist or traditionist, not enjoying any distinction over 
others of their class; therefore, nobody among their contemporaries was interested in 
exerting an effort to record their speeches like that exerted by Shi'ahs in recording the 
statements of the Infallible Imams (as). Ever since the inception of the Shi v ah sect, 
nobody was permitted to refer in the religious matters to anyone other than their Imams. 
For this reason, such an effort was unavoidable, and they became the sole source of 
religious scholarship. A great deal of effort and resources were spent in recording their 
verbal statements, and many exhausted their resources in doing so in a manner that is 
unmatched so that they might preserve the knowledge which, according to such sect, is 
the only one accepted by Allah. The books authored during the life-time of Imam al- 
Sadiq (as) alone numbered four hundred dealing with four hundred different topics 
containing the religious verdicts [fatawa] issued by al-Sadiq (as) during his life-time. 
The disciples of al-Sadiq (as) have written many, many times this number, as you will 
hear in detail shortly, Insha-Allah. 



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As regarding the four Sunni imams, nobody looks at them in the eyes Shfahs look at the 
Imams of Ahl al-Bayt. Nay; they did not even have followers during their own life-time! 
They did not live to enjoy the status given to them after they had died, as stated by Ibn 
Khaldiin al-'Arabi in a chapter he dedicated to the science of fiqh in his famous 
Introduction, and it is a fact admitted by many of their renown scholars. In spite of all 
this, we do not doubt that their followers followed anyone other than them, for theirs 
are, indeed, the views of the followers of those Imams, the ones held reliable in dealing 
with their affairs by every generation. They recorded them in their books because their 
followers knew their sects best, just as Shi'ahs best know the sect of their Imams, those 
who worship Allah accordingly, believing that it is the only way to seek nearness to 
Him. 

2) Researchers unhesitatingly accept the fact that Shi'ahs werethe pioneers in recording 
the branches of knowledge, more so than anyone else. As a matter of fact, nobody in the 
first century of Islam besides 'Ali (as) and those endowed with the gift of knowledge 
among his Shi'ahs did so. The reason for this could be attributed to the differences of 
opinion among the companions in permitting or forbidding the writing of knowledge. 
According to al-'Asqalani in his Introduction toFath al-Malik al-^Ali Bisihhati Babil 
^Ilm ^Ali, and according to others, 'Umer ibn al-Khattab and a few others disliked the 
idea for fear hadith might be mixed with the Book, versus the permission granted by 
'Ali (as), and after him al-Hasan al-Mujtaba (as), grandson of the Prophet (pbuh), and a 
group of other companions, to such writing. During that time, Ibn Jurayh authored in 
Mecca the first book dealing with the legacies in which he quotes Mujahid and 'Ata'. 
Al-Ghazali says that it is the first book authored in Islam. The truth of the matter is that 
it is the first book authored by a non-Shi' ah in Islam. After it, Mu'ammar ibn Rashid, of 
San' a, Yemen, wrote his, then Malik authored his Mawti'. The Introduction of Fath al- 
Malik al-^Ali Bisihhati Babil ^Ilm ^Ali states that al-Rabf ibn Sabih was the first to 
compile information, and that he lived at the sunset of the time of the tabi'in. Anyhow, 
the consensus of opinion is that Sunnis did not author a single book during the first 
Islamic century. 

As regarding 'Ali and his Shi'ahs, these spent a great deal of effort and time to attain 
that end during the first century of Islam. The first writing of the Commander of the 
Faithful was the Book of Allah, the Exalted, the Praiseworthy. Having finished the 
rituals pertaining to the preparation for the departure of the Prophet (pbuh) from this 
world, 'Ali (as) decided not to dress except to either say the prayers or compile the 
Qur'an. He, therefore, compiled it arranged in the order of its revelation. He pointed out 
its general and specific meanings, absolute and restrictive, perfect and those that seem to 
be alike, revocation and what revokes it, emphasis and relaxation, injunctions and 
instructions, pointing out the occasions which necessitated the revelation of its perfect 
verses, explaining what might be confusing to other people. Ibn Sirin used to always 
say: "If you are lucky enough to obtain that book, then you will find in it abundant 
knowledge." This is cited by Ibn Hajar in his Al-Sawa^iq al-Muhriqa, and by many 
other renown writers. Several companions who could read took pains to compile the 
Holy Qur'an, but they could not compile it in the order of its revelation, nor could they 
mark it the way explained above, leaving "Ali's compilation more than just a 
compilation - rather an exegesis. 



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Having finished working on the Book of the Dear One, he authored a book which he 
dedicated to the Mistress of the Women of Mankind. It came to be known to her 
purified sons as "Mushaf Fatima," Fatima's book, which contained axioms, pieces of 
wisdom and counsel, morals, historical events and unique occurrences, written as a 
solace for her after being bereaved by the loss of her father the Prophet (pbuh). After 
that, he authored a book dealing with blood monies which he titled Al-Sahifa. It is 
referred to by Ibn Sa'd at the end of his work titled Al-Jamr giving the credit of 
authorship to the Commander of the Faithful. Both al-Bukhari and Muslim mention this 
work and quote it in several places of their Sahih. Among their narrative is what they 
have quoted from al-A'mash from Ibrahim al-Taymi who quotes his father saying: '"Ali 
(as), may Allah be pleased with him, told me once: 'We have no book for you to read, 
besides Allah's Book, other than thisSahifa.' Then he brought it to me. It contained 
matters related to wounds and camel teeth. Also among its contents is a statement 
reading: 'Medina is a sanctuary from clr to Thawr; anyone who desecrates it, or shelters 
a desecrator, will incur the curse of Allah, the angels, and man.'" This is the wording of 
al-Bukhari in his section dealing with the sins of those who disown their mawali, in his 
chapter on ordinances, page 111, Vol. 4, of hisSahih, and it is referred to in the chapter 
on Medina's sanctity, when the pilgrimage is discussed on page 523, Vol. 1, of 
Muslim's Sahih. Imam Ahmed ibn Hanbal repeatedly refers to the narrative regarding 
this Sahifa in his musnad. He quotes 'Ali (as) on page 100, Vol. 1, of his Musnad, 
transmitted by Tariq ibn Shihab who says: "I have witnessed 'Ali, peace be upon him, 
telling people from the pulpit: 'By Allah! We have nothing to recite for you other than 
the Book of Allah the Exalted, and this Sahifa,' which he was attaching to his sword, 'I 
have learned its contents from the Messenger of Allah.'" 

Quoting 'Abdul-Malik, al-Saffar narrates: "Abu Ja'fer asked to have 'Ali's book brought 
to him, and his son Ja'fer brought something bulky shaped like a thigh. Among its 
contents was a sentence reading: 'If a man dies, his women will not inherit any of his 
estates.' Abu Ja'fer said: 'This, by Allah, is the hand writing of 'Ali (as) and the 
dictation of the Messenger of Allah (pbuh)!'" A group of Shi'ahs who were 
contemporary to the Imam (as) followed in the footsteps of the Commander of the 
Faithful (as) and authored a number of books. Among those authors were: Salman al- 
Farisi and Abu Tharr al-Ghifari, as stated by Ibn Shahr ?shiib who says: "The first to 
author in Islam is 'Ali ibn Abu Talib (as), then Salman al-Farisi, then Abu Tharr." 

Among the latter is Abu Rafi', freed slave of the Messenger of Allah (pbuh), and 
treasurer of baytul-mal [state treasury] during the rule of the Commander of the Faithful, 
peace be upon him. He was among the elite of his followers who sought his guidance. 
He wrote a book dealing with traditions, ordinances and other matters which he 
compiled mostly from 'Ali's hadith. It enjoyed a prestigious status among our ancestors 
who used it as a source of quotations and narrations. Among them is 'Ali ibn Abu Rafi' 
who, according to his biography in Isaba, was born during the life-time of the Prophet 
(pbuh) who named him 'Ali. He authored a book on the science of fiqh according to the 
teachings of Ahl al-Bayt who, peace be upon them, used to cherish that book and refer 
their Shi'ahs to it. Musa ibn 'Abdullah ibn al-Hasan has said: "A man inquired 
abouttashahhud from my father. My father told me to fetch the book written by Abu 
Rafi'. He took it and dictated to us from it." 



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The author of Raw dat al-Jannat concludes his discussion by stating that the latter was 
the first book dealing with fiqh written by Shi"ahs, but he, may Allah have mercy on 
him, has certainly erred. Among them is "Ubaydullah ibn Abu Rafi\ a scribe and a 
follower of "Ali (as), who learned from the Prophet (pbuh) and narrated to Ja"fer his 
(pbuh) saying: "Your form and manners are similar to mine." This is quoted by a group 
of scholars including Ahmed ibn Hanbal in his Musnad. Ibn Hajar has mentioned it in 
Part 1 of his Isaba under the heading ""Ubaydullah ibn Aslam." The name of the father 
of Rabi' is Aslam. This "Ubaydullah authored a book dealing with the sahaba who 
fought the Battle of Siffin on "Ali's side, from which Ibn Hajar quotes extensively in his 
own Isaba;[21 so, you may refer to it. Also among them is Rabi" ah ibn Sam" who wrote 
a book dealing with zakat on cattle herds derived from the hadith of the Prophet (pbuh) 
which is narrated by "Ali (as). They include "Abdullah ibn al-Hurr al-Farisi who narrates 
a glitter of ahadith all reported by "Ali (as) from the Messenger of Allah (pbuh). And 
among them is al-Asbagh ibn Nabatah, a friend and disciple of the Commander of the 
Faithful (as) who quotes the Imam's instructive epistle to Malik al-Ashtar and his will to 
his son Muhammad. Both are recorded by our fellows in their authentic books of 
traditions directly from him. Among them is Salim ibn Qays al-Hilali, a companion of 
"AH (as), who quotes his hadith and that of Salman. He wrote a book dealing with 
imamate which is mentioned by Imam Muhammad ibn Ibrahim al-Nu"mani in his 
book Al-Ghayba, saying: "Nobody among all Shi" ah scholars and narrators of the hadith 
of the Imams disputes the fact that the book written by Salim ibn Qays al-Hilali is a 
major bibliography of works dealing with usul [basics of jurisprudence] narrated by 
scholars and traditionists from Ahl al-Bayt, and one of the pioneers in its subject-matter. 
It is one of the major sources to which Shi"ahs refer and upon which they rely." Our 
fellows have also recorded the names and works of those of the same caliber among 
their good ancestors who authored books, in addition to the indices and biographies to 
whose authors everyone is referred. 

3) As regarding the authors among our ancestors who belong to the second generation, 
i.e. that of the tabi"in, this Letter falls short of elaborating on them, and the best to do in 
getting to know them, their works and sources in detail, is to refer to the bibliographies 
and biographies compiled by our scholar s.[3_L 

Upon that class did the light of Ahl al-Bayt (as) brightly shine, whereas it was earlier 
obstructed by the clouds of the oppression of oppressors. The calamity of the Taff 
disclosed the enemies of the progeny of Muhammad (pbuh), and made them lose face 
before the wise. It also drew attention to the atrocities meted to Ahl al-Bayt (as) since 
losing the Messenger of Allah (pbuh). Their horrible implications forced people to look 
for the reasons and obligated them to research the causes. Thus did they come to know 
the seeds and roots of the calamity. Those among them who were blessed with a 
conscience rose to protect the status of Ahl al-Bayt (as) and support them [both Imams], 
for the human nature is made to assist the wronged and dislike wrong-doing. Muslims, 
in the aftermath of that catastrophic incident, entered a new era in which they rushed to 
support Imam "Ali ibn al-Husayn Zaynul-"?bidin (as), refer to him in their quest for 
answers regarding the roots and branches of the faith, and to all Islamic sciences derived 
from the Book and the Sunnah. After his death, they started referring to his son Imam 
Abu Ja"fer al-Baqir (as). Followers of both Imams, i.e. Zaynul-"?bidin and al-Baqir (as), 
among ancient Imamis, wrote innumerable books, but those scholars whose names and 



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biographies were recorded in biography books were about four thousand heroes, and 
their works numbered approximately ten fhousand[4_L or more which are narrated by our 
friends in every generation quoting them from reliable sources. A group among the elite 
of those heroes won the honour of serving them, while the rest served Imam al-Sadiq, 
peace be upon all of them, and luck had it that a large number of them reached their 
ultimate objective of attaining authentic knowledge. 

Among the latter is Abu Sa v id Aban ibn Taghlib ibn Rabah al-Jariri, the famous reciter 
of the Qur'an, the traditionist, lexicographer, and linguist who was one of the most 
reliable among scholars. He was contemporary to three Imams from whom he 
transmitted a great deal of knowledge and a large number of traditions. Suffices you the 
fact that he narrates from al-Sadiq (as) alone thirty thousand ahadith, as stated by al- 
Mirza Muhammad in his biography of Aban in his work Manhaj al-Maqal wherein he 
quotes Aban ibn v Uthman citing al-Sadiq, peace be upon him. He enjoyed their respect 
and high esteem. Al-Baqir, peace be upon him, said to him, while they were both at the 
sacred city of Medina, "Take your place at the mosque, and issue your verdicts to 
people, for I love people to observe a man of my own SrrTahs like you." Al-Sdiq (as), 
peace be upon him, said to him once: "Debate with the people of Medina, for I love to 
see men like you among my narrators and friends." Whenever he came to Medina, 
people came to him in large numbers and arranged for him to sit where the Prophet 
(pbuh) used to sit. Al-Sadiq (as) said to Salim ibn Abu Habbah: "Visit Aban ibn 
Taghlib, for he has learned a large number of ahadith from me, and whatever he narrates 
to you, you should narrate, too." He, peace be upon him, has said to Aban ibn v Uthman: 
"Aban ibn Taghlib has narrated thirty thousand ahadith from me; so, quote the same 
from him." Whenever Aban ibn Taghlib visited al-Sadiq (as), the Imam would hug him, 
shake his hand, and order a couch to be given to him to lean on, and he would lend him 
his full attention. When the news of his death was brought to him, he, peace be upon 
him, said: "By Allah! My heart is aching because of the death of Aban." He died in 141 
A.H. Aban has narrated traditions from Anas ibn Malik, al-A'mash, Muhammad ibn al- 
Munkadir, Sammak ibn Harb, Ibrahim al-Nakh v i, Fudayl ibn 'Umer, and al-Hakam. He 
is relied upon by Muslim and all authors of the four books of traditions, as we explained 
while discussing him in Letter No. 16. 

Aban is not harmed by al-Bukhari's reluctance to rely on his authority, for his solace is 
that the man does not rely on the authority of the Imams of Ahl al-Bayt (as) such as al- 
Sadiq, al-Kazim, al-Rida, al-Jawad, al-Taqi, and al-Hasan al- v Askari al-Zaki, peace be 
upon all of them, either. Bukhari does not consider these men reliable; nay, he even does 
not rely on the authority of the elder grandson of the Prophet (pbuh) and the master of 
the the young of paradise! On the other hand, he relies on men like Marwan ibn al- 
Hakam, "Umran ibn Hattan, 'Ikremah al-Barbari and their likes; so, we are Allah's, and 
to Him is our return. 

Aban has written very interesting books. One of them is Tafsir Gharib al- 
Qur'an [exegesis of what is unusual in the Qur'an], whose contents are mostly Arabic 
verses of poetry cited to testify to the truth contained in the Perfect Revelation. Later, 
'Abdul-Rahman ibn Muhammad al-Azdi al-Kiifi combined the contents of Aban's book 
with those of Muhammad ibn al-Sa'ib al-Kalbi and Ibn Rawaq "Atiyyah ibn al-Harith 
and published them in one volume, highlighting the views in which they differed among 



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themselves as well as those they agreed upon. He once quotes Aban independently, and 
once he quotes what agrees with v Abdul-Rahman's views. Our friends have quoted both 
books through various reliable sources. Aban has authored a book dealing with moral 
excellences, and one dealing with the Battle of Siffin, and he has authored one of the 
major reference books on which the Imamites rely in their derivation of jurisdic 
injunctions. All his books have been reported with reference to his authorship thereof. 
Their details are in bibliography books. 

Among them is Abu Hamzah al-Thamali ibn Dinar, a trustworthy authority and a 
dignitary among our ancestors. He derived his knowledge from three Imams: al-Sadiq 
(as), al-Baqir, and Zaynul-'Abidin, peace be upon them. He remained in close contact 
with them, and won their respect. Al-Sadiq (as), peace be upon him, lauded him saying: 
"In his age, Abu Hamzah is like Luqman in his own time." He has written a book on the 
exegesis of the Qur'an, and I noticed imam al-Tibrisi quoting him in 
his tafsir titled Mujmaul Bayan fi Tafsir al-Qur'an.[5]_He has also written a book on 
rare ahadith, another on asceticism, and a dissertation on rights[6_L narrated from Imam 
Zaynul- V ?bidin v Ali ibn al-Husayn from whom he narrates his own invocation recited at 
early dawn which shines brighter than the sun and the moon. He also narrates from Anas 
and al-Sha v bi. He in turn is quoted by Waki\ Abu Na v im, and a group of their class who 
are our own friends, and from others, as we stated in his biography in Letter No. 16. 

There are other valiant men who did not live to meet Imam Zaynul- V ?bidin, but they 
won the honour of serving both al-Baqirs, peace be upon them. 

Among these are: Abul-Qasim Bard ibn Mu'awiyah al-'Ajli, Abu Basir al-Asghar Layth 
ibn Murad al-Bakhtari al-Muradi, Abul Hassan Zararah ibn "Ayan, Abu JaTer 
Muhammad ibn Muslim ibn Rabah al-Kiifi al-Ta'ifi al-Thaqafi, and many other 
standards of guidance and lighthouses that shone in the dark. To elaborate on them is 
not possible here. 

As regarding these four men, they have, indeed, achieved a special status and won the 
coveted prize and a lofty station. When Imam al-Sadiq (as), peace be upon him, 
mentioned them once, he said: "I find nobody who kept our name alive like Zararah, 
Abu Basir Layth, Muhammad ibn Muslim, and Burayd; without them, nobody would 
have learned as much." Then he added: "These are the custodians of the faith who were 
trusted by my father to safeguard what Allah has decreed as permissible or forbidden. 
They are the ones who are foremost in seeking our company in this life, and they will be 
the foremost in joining us in the Hereafter." Once, he, peace be upon him, recited: 
"Convey the glad tidings to those who pray for attaining Our Paradise (Qur'an, 22:34)," 
and he followed his recitation by naming these four persons, adding, in a lengthy 
statement lauding them, "My father is said to have trusted them to safeguard Allah's 
permissible and forbidden matters, and they were the custodians of his knowledge; 
today, they are my faithful confidants and the true friends of my father; they are the 
stars of my Shi'ahs alive or dead; through them does Allah dispel every innovation. 
They protect this religion from the lies of the innovators, and the interpretations of the 
extremists," in addition to other eminent statements he made in which he credited them 
for their contributions, honour, dignity, and true service in a way which we cannot 
describe. In spite of all this, they were charged by the enemies of Ahl al-Bayt (as) with 



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every possible false charge, as we have explained in our workMukhtasar al-Kalam fi 
Mu'allifi al-ShVah min Sadr al-Islam. This does not undermine their lofty status and 
great significance in the eyes of Allah, His Messenger, and the believers. Those who 
envied the Prophet (pbuh)s only increased the loftiness of those Prophets' status, without 
affecting their canons other than their promotion thereof among those who recognize 
and follow the truth, making them acceptable to those endowed with wisdom. 

During the lifetime of al-Sadiq (as), peace be upon him, knowledge was disseminated 
like never before, and the Shfahs of his forefathers (as) rushed to him from far and 
wide. He approached them with a pleasant countenance, making them feel at home, 
sparing no effort to educate them and acquaint them with the secrets of knowledge, the 
particulars of wisdom, and the nature of matters, as admitted by Abul-Fath al- 
Shahristani in his book Al-Milal wal Nihal. When he mentions al-Sadiq (as), he 
comments: "He was a man very much informed of the religion, endowed with perfect 
manners in wisdom, extreme renunciation of this world, and a complete abstinance from 
temptations. "JT[ He has also said of him: "He stayed in Medina for some time 
instructing the Shi'ahs belonging to his faith, lavishing the secrets of knowledge upon 
those who were loyal to him. Then he went to Iraq and stayed there for a period of time 
during which he did not publicly criticize nor covet authority... Whoever drowns in the 
oceans of knowledge never desires to see the shore, and whoever ascends to the peak of 
reality never fears descending," up to the end of his statement; "And truth makes itself 
manifest to the fair-minded, and to the obstinant." 

A large number of the companions of al-Sadiq (as) achieved ultimate wisdom, and they 
became leaders to righteousness, lanterns in the dark, oceans of knowledge, stars of 
guidance. Among those whose names and biographies are stated in biography books are 
four thousand men from Iraq, Hijaz, Iran, and Syria. They are authors of works very 
well known by Imamite scholars. Among them are the four hundred books of basics of 
jurisprudence mentioned above which deal with four hundred subjects, all written 
during the time and derived from the verdicts of al-Sadiq (as). They were rendered 
indispensable for both theoretical and practical knowledge, so much so that a group of 
the nation's scholars and emissaries of the Imams summarized their contents in special 
books to facilitate their comprehension by students and make them more accessible. The 
best among such compilations are the four books which are the major sources for the 
Imamites in referring to the roots and branches of their faith. They have been referring 
to them since the first century of Islam, and these are: Al-Kafi, Al-Tahthib, Al-Istibsar, 
and Man la Yahdaruhul Faqih. All are sequentially narrated, and the authenticity of 
their contents is never doubted. A l-Kafi is the oldest among them, the greatest, the best, 
and the most authentic. It contains sixteen thousand one hundred and ninety-nine 
ahadith which include all what now exists in the sixsahih books [al-Sihah al-sitta of the 
Sunnis], as admitted by al-Shahid in his Al-Thikra, and by many other renown scholars. 

Husham ibn al-Hakam, one of the companions of al-Sadiq (as) and al-Kazim (as), 
authored several books ninety-nine of which became quite famous. They are narrated by 
our friends who quote him, and their details exist in our book Mukhtasar al-Kalam fi 
Muallifi al-ShPah min Sadr al-Islam. They all are very interesting books, dazzling in the 
clarity of their contents and the glitter of their arguments. They deal with both roots and 
branches of the faith, and with tawhid and rational philosophy; they rebut the atheists, 



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heretics, pantheists, predestinarians, determinists, and those who are extremist in their 
beliefs regarding Ali (as) and Ahl al-Bayt (as). They also rebut the Kharijites and 
Nasibis, those who denied that a will [by the Prophet] was made regarding Ali (as), 
those who obstructed his way to attain the caliphate, and those who preached that 
someone else should be elected as caliph before Ali (as), in addition to other topics. 

In the second century, Husham was the most knowledgeable person in the science of 
speech, divine wisdom, and all rational and deductive sciences. He was distinguished 
in fiqh and hadith, surpassing everyone else in tafsr and all other sciences and arts. He is 
the one who discussed the concept of imamate and cultivated the sect through 
observation. He quotes al-Sadiq (as) and al-Kazim, and he enjoys a special status in 
their eyes which cannot be described. He won such praise from them that elevated his 
status to high heaven. He was first a Jehmi, then he met al-Sadiq (as) and came to see 
the light of guidance through him, so, he joined his party, then he followed al-Kazim 
and surpassed all the disciples of both Imams. Those who desire to put out Allah's light, 
out of envy of Ahl al-Bayt (as), and out of malice, accused him of saying that the 
Almighty has a physical form, and of other serious charges. We are most knowledgeable 
of his sect. We have within our reach reports of his life-style and norm of speech. He 
has written works defending our sect as referred to above; so, nothing of his speech can 
be known to others and not to us, since he is among our ancestors and descendants, 
while his critics are far from his sect and taste. What al-Shahristani has quoted in his Al- 
Milal wal-Nihal of Husham's speech does not imply his belief in a physical form for 
Allah. Let me quote for you what he has quoted him: 

"Husham ibn al-Hakam has studied usiil in depth. We must not forget his arguments 
with the Mu'tazilites, for the man is above what his opponent charges, and beneath what 
similitude he strikes, for he argued with al-'Allaf saying: 'You claim that the Creator is 
the One Who knows, and His knowledge is His own essence; so, He then becomes a 
knowledgeable person who is different from the world [His creation]; why then don't 
you say that He has a form unlike all other forms?'" 

It is no secret that this statement, if true, proves only that he opposes al-'Allaf s views. 
Not everyone who argues about something is a believer therein, since it is possible that 
his purpose is to test al-"Allafs beliefs and sift his knowledge, as al-Shahristani 
suggests, saying: "The man is above what his opponent accuses him and beneath what 
similitude he strikes." If we suppose that it is proved that Husham believes as such, this 
could be before his going back to the true guidance [through Imam al-Sadiq (as)]. You 
have come to know that he used to believe like the Jehmis, then he saw the light of 
guidance through Muhammad's progeny (as), and became an Imam of those who 
followed their Imams. Nobody among our ancestors has found any proof of what the 
opponent attributes to him, yet we find some traces of what they have attributed to 
Zararah ibn 'Ayan, Muhammad ibn Muslim, Mu'min al-Taq, and their peers. This 
comes in spite of the fact that we spared no effort to research the accusation and found 
its bases nothing more than injustice and animosity, intrigue and false allegation; "Do 
not think that Allah is unmindful of what the oppressors do." 

As regarding what al-Shahristani has alleged of Husham's belief in Ali (as) as Allah, this 
is a joke that causes even a bereaved woman whose child has just died to burst in 



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laughter. Husham is above such nonsense and superstition. Husham's statements dealing 
with tawhid call for the glorification of Allah above being reduced to a physical form of 
any nature, and His sublimity above what the ignorant allege. His statements dealing 
with imamate and wisayat reflect his preference of the Messenger of Allah, peace be 
upon him and his progeny, over Ali (as). He declares that Ali (as) is just a member of 
the Prophet's nation and a subject, his vicegerent and successor, and that he is a servant 
of Allah who has been wronged and overcome and was unable to secure what is 
rightfully his, being forced to succumb to the power of his opponents, continuously 
afraid about his safety, having neither supporter nor helper; so, how can al-Shahristani 
say: "Husham ibn al-Hakam has studied usiil in depth. We must not forget his 
arguments with the Mu'tazilites, for the man is above what his opponent charges, and 
beneath what similitude he strikes, for he argued with al-'Allaf saying: 'You claim that 
the Creator is the One Who knows, and His knowledge is His own essence; so, He then 
becomes a knowledgeable person Who is different from the world [His creation]; why 
then don't you say that He has a form unlike all other forms?'" He then attributes to Ali 
(as) the allegation that he is Allah Almighty! Isn't this a clear self-contradiction? Is it 
proper for Husham, in spite of his abundant knowledge and contributions, that such 
nonsense is attributed to him? Certainly not. But these people have insisted on piling 
charges out of their own envy and animosity towards Ahl al-Bayt (as) and those who 
follow their views; so, we are Allah's, and unto Him is our return. 

Authorship flourished during the lifetime of Imams al-Kazim, al-Rida, al-Jawad, al- 
Hadi, al-Hasan al-Zaki al-'Askari, peace be upon them, in a way that was never 
preceded, and traditionists quoting them and other Imams spread far and wide 
throughout the land, trying their best reasoning to attain knowledge, in pursuit of it and 
of its secrets, enumerating its issues, verifying its facts, saving no effort to record the 
arts and collect particles of knowledge. 

Al-Muhaqqiq, in his Al-Mu tabor, says: "Among the students of al-Jawad, peace be 
upon him, were virtuous men like al-Husayn ibn Sa'id and his brother al-Hasan, and 
also Ahmed ibn Muhammad ibn Abu Nasr al-Bazanti, Ahmed ibn Muhammad ibn 
Khalid al-Barqi, Shathan, Abul-Fadl al-'Ami, Ayyiib ibn Niih, Ahmed ibn Muhammad 
ibn 'gsa and others whose list is quite lengthy... Their books till today are in current 
circulation among the companions reflecting their abundant knowledge." 

Suffices you the fact that al-Barqi's books outnumber a hundred, and al-Bazanti has 
authored his renown work titled/am/' al Bazanti, while al-Husayn ibn Sa'id has written 
thirty books. It is not possible in such a Letter to count what has been written by the 
students of the six Imams who descended from Imam al-Sadiq (as), peace be upon them, 
but I refer you to the available biographies and bibliographies; so, read about the 
biography of Muhammad ibn Sinan, 'Ali ibn Mahziyar, al-Hasan ibn Mahbiib, al-Hasan 
ibn Muhammad ibn Sam' ah, Safwan ibn Yahya, 'Ali ibn Yaqtin, 'Ali ibn Fadal, 'Abdul- 
Rahman ibn Najran, al-Fadl ibn Shathan (who authored two hundred books), 
Muhammad ibn Mas'tid al-'Ayyashi (who wrote more than two hundred titles), 
Muhammad ibn 'Umayr, Ahmed ibn Muhammad ibn 'gsa (who quoted one hundred 
companions of al-Sadiq (as), peace be upon him), Muhammad ibn 'Ali ibn Mahbiib, 
Talhah ibn Talhah ibn Zayd, 'Ammar ibn Miisa al-Sabati, 'Ali ibn al-Nu'man, al- 
Husayn ibn 'Abdullah, Ahmed ibn 'Abdullah ibn Mahran who is better known as Ibn 



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Al-Muraja'at 294 
Shi'i-Sunni dialogue 



Khaniba, Sadfah ibn al-Munthir al-Qummi, "Ubaydullah ibn 'AH al-Halabi who brought 
his book to al-Sadiq (as), peace be upon him, to edit and verify, which he appreciated 
and said: "Do you see these folks having a book like this one?!" Add to them Abu "Amr 
the physician, "Abdullah ibn Sa'id who brought his book to Abul-Hasan al-Rida, peace 
be upon him, for the same purpose, and «nus ibn 'Abdul-Rahman who brought his book 
to Imam Abu Muhammad al-Hasan al-Zaki al- v Askari, peace be upon him. 

Anyone who researches the biographies of the followers of the progeny of Muhammad, 
peace be upon him and them, and researches those who kept company with the nine 
Imams from the descendants of al-Husayn, counting their works contemporary to their 
respective Imams and reviewed by those they quoted, disseminating the hadith of 
Muhammad's progeny in every branch and root of religion..., will come across 
thousands of such men. Then if he gets acquainted with these sciences in every class as 
handed down from the time of the nine Infallible Imams (as) till our time, he will 
certainly be convinced then that the sect of these Imams is mutawatir(consecutive\y 
reported), dispelling any doubt he might have about the fact that our worship of the 
Almighty Allah in the roots and branches of the faith is derived from the Messenger's 
Household. Nobody doubts this fact except one who is arrogant and prejudiced or dumb 
ignorant; so, praise be to Allah Who has guided us to this, for without His guidance, we 
would not have been thus guided; Wassalam. 

Sincerely, 

Sh 



[Y[Al-Huda, the Iraqi magazine, quoted this Letter and published it in series in its first 
and second volumes in a column signed by the humble author. 

£21 Refer to the biography of Jubayr ibn al-Habab ibn al-Munthir in Part One of Al- 
Isabah. 

[31 Such as al-Najashi's Index, Shaykh Abu 'Ali's Muntahal Maqal fi Ahwalir Rijal, 
Mirza Muhammad's Minhajul Maqal fi Tahqiqi Ahwalir Rijal, and many other books 
dealing with this branch of knowledge, and they are quite few. 

[41 Indicated so by many masters of the art such as Shaykh al-Baha'i in his Wajiza, and 
many other renown personalities. 

[51 Refer to al-Tibrisi's Mujma ^Bayan fi Tafsiril Qur'an in the section dealing with the 
exegesis of the verse reading: "Say: V I do not ask you for any reward for it other than 
being kind to my kin'" in Siirat al-Shura, and you will find him quoting Abu Hamzah's 
own tafsir. 

[61 Our fellows have reported all of Abu Hamzah's books, giving him credit for the 
narration, and the details are in their books. Our dignitary- authority Sayyid Sadr ad-Din 
al-Miisawi has abridged Risalat al-Huqiiq and published it in order to be memorized by 



Sayyid 'Abd al-Husayn Sharaf al-Din al-Musawi 



Al-Muraja'at 295 
Shi'i-Sunni dialogue 



heart by Muslim youths, and he has done a very good job; may Allah enable the 
Muslims to enjoy the fruits of his concern and the magnitude of his effort. 

[71 He does so when he mentions the Baqiriyya and Ja'fariyya among Shi'ah sects in his 
book Al-Milal wal-Nihal. 



Letter 111 

Conviction 



Jamadi al-«la 1, 1330 

I bear witness that you, in the roots and branches of the faith, are followers of the Imams 
from the Messenger's progeny. You have clarified this matter and rendered it obvious, 
unveiled whatever was obscure thereof; so, to doubt you is madness, and to mistrust you 
is misguidance. I have scrutinized your letter and found it very pleasing. I verified it and 
was able to inhale its divine fragrance which nourished me with its sweet scent. Before 
knowing you, I used to be confused about your beliefs due to what I hear of allegations 
from scandal-mongers; now I have found it to be a lantern that dispels the darkness, and 
I am leaving you victorious, successful; so, how great is the blessing which Allah has 
bestowed upon me, and how great your benefit unto me! Praise to Allah, Lord of the 
Worlds, Wassalamo Alaikom. 

Sincerely, 

5 



Letter 112 

Appreciation 

Jamadi al-«la 2, 1330 

I bear witness that now you are acquainted with the matter, capable of handling it. You 
have surpassed all others in comprehending it and researching it minutely, scrutinizing it 
carefully, turning it to all sides, discerning its inner implications, seeking its essence and 
nature, without being swayed by nationalistic biases, nor motivated by personal 
interests. So, the attributes of your clemency cannot be harmed, nor can your mind be 
dominated. You have dealt in depth researching it with a clemency that is more than 
pleasing, and with a mind more spacious than this world, minutely verifying, without 



Sayyid 'Abd al-Husayn Sharaf al-Din al-Musawi 



Al-Muraja'at 296 
Shi'i-Sunni dialogue 



minding the view of kith or kin, till what is hidden has surfaced; truth has manifested 
itself, and morning rays have appeared to all those who can see; so, all praise is due to 
Allah for guiding us to His religion, and for being successful to attain what He has 
enjoined us to attain of His Path: THE RIGHT PATH, and may He send blessings unto 
Muhammad and the progeny of Muhammad, and many salutations. 

Sincerely, 

Sh 



Glossary 



Athan: the call for prayers; muaththin is one who performsa?/zarc. 

Athbat: plural of thabat, one who is widely recognized as an authority in his own field. 

^Atiyya: gift, present, grant, boon 

^Awl: one sought during the time of need, a reliable helper 

Bada': starting point, the very beginning of something, the onset 

Bara'ah: dissociation or renunciation 

Baytul-Mal: Islamic government's state treasury 

Diwan: a collection of poems 

Faqih: jurist, one who is knowledgeable in Islamic jurisprudence 

Fatawa: plural of fatwa, a religious edict or decision 

Fiqh: the science of Islamic jurisprudence 

Firqa: group, party, sect 

FuriT: branches of the faith 

Hadith: (singular:) tradition, a statement made by Prophet Muhammad (pbuh); its plural 
is: ahadith 

Hajj: Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca during the prescribed period 



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Al-Muraja'at 297 
Shi'i-Sunni dialogue 



Ihram: pilgrimage garb, white unwoven cotten shroud worn by pilgrims 

Ijtihad: the degree one reaches in order to be qualified as amujtahid, one who is capable 
of deriving religious decisions on his own 

Imam: leader of an ummah, a group of people (small or big); he may be the one who 
leads others in congregational prayers, or a supreme relgious authority, or one of the 
Twelve Infallible Imams (as) 

Isnad: the method whereby one hadith is traced and in the end attributed to 
a muhaddith, traditionist, one who transmitted it the first time 

Jahiliyya: pre-Islamic period of ignorance 

Janaba: uncleanness caused by seminal discharge 

Jihad: a struggle, an effort exerted, or a war waged in defense of Islam 

Jizya: a protection tax paid by non-Muslims living under Muslims' control in exchange 
for their exemption from the military service 

Kafir: infidel, apostate, atheist, one who does not believe in the existence of the Creator 

Kalam: the science of logic 

Kalima: synonymous to "shahada," it is a Muslim's declaration of faith (that is, to testify 
that there is no god except Allah, and that Muhammad (pbuh) is the Messenger of 
Allah), and it is always pronounced in Arabic 

Khiraj: the combination of all religious taxes collected at the end of the Islamic lunar 
year 

Khums: one-fifth of one's savings (usually paid by Shfa Muslims) set aside from annual 
income 

Khutba: lecture, sermon; a speech delivered on a specific occasion 

Kufr: apostacy, infidelity, disbelief 

Kunyat: usually applied for a parent, it is the way of calling him or her by the name of 
his or her oldest son (such as saying "father of so-and-so" or "mother of so-and-so"), or 
it may be applied out of respect, a tradition usually followed in Arab countries, and it is 
applied as a prefix to one's name. 

Maqam: standing place, a place where one usually stands to preach or address the public 

Mawla: depending on its usage, it may mean either "master" or "slave," or it may mean 
one who is most fit for a specific position of honor and prestige. Derived from the 



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Al-Muraja'at 298 
Shi'i-Sunni dialogue 



adjective awla(one who is best qualified), it means: the person who is best suited to be 
the religious and temporal leader of all Muslims. 

Mu'min: believer, one who has iman, conviction, true belief 

Mujtahid: one who acquires the degree of ijtihad and thus becomes capable of deriving 
religious decisions on his own 

Musnad: a compilation of traditions (ahadith) which are consecutively and 
chronologically traced to their transmitters 

Mufa: temporary marriage 

Mutawatir. consecutively reported, traced by a perfect chronological chain of 
ascertained narrators of hadith 

Najasa: uncleanness, impurity 

Najwa: a silent supplication 

Nuthur. plural oinathr, one's pledge to do something very good to show appreciation 
for the Almighty's favorable response to his supplication and the attainment of his 
worldly wish 

Qayyim: person in charge of something, one charged with authority 

Qibla: direction towards the Ka'ba, Mecca 

Sadaqa: (singular:) charity offered voluntarily; its plural is:sadaqat 

Sahabah: (singular:) companions of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh); its plural 
is: sahabi 

Shari"a: Islam's legislative system 

Shubha: (singular) doubt, suspicion; its plural is: shubuhat 

Shiira: the principle of mutual consultation, Islam's form of democracy 

Siqaya: the act of providing water to the thirsty free of charge 

Sunan: plural of sunnah: a highly commended act of worship or way whereby a Muslim 
seeks nearness to Allah 

Tabri: (singular:) one who accompanied for a good period of time and learned from 
a sahabi, a companion of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh); its plural is: tabVin 



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Al-Muraja'at 299 
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Tafsir. (singular:) exegesis or explanation of Qur'anic verses; its plural is: tafasir 

Tahara: purification, the act of removing najasa, uncleanness or impurity 

Takbir. the act of glorifying Allah by declaring in an audible voice: "Allaho Akbar!" 
Allah is Great! 

Taqiyya: one's way of exerting precaution in order to save his life when it is in jeopardy, 
Shi' as' way of trying to survive against the presence of sure perils 

Taqlid: the concept of following a mujtahid or an authority recognized as the a"alam, 
the most knowledgeable in Islamics 

Tashahhud: the testimony regarding Allah being the Lord and Muhammad (pbuh) being 
His Servant and Messenger; it is the uttering of "Ashhadu an la ilaha ilia- Allah, wa anna 
Muhammad abdoho wa rasooloh" 

Tawatur. consecutive reporting, the tracing of one particular/za<iz7/z to its respective 
chronological chain of narrators 

Tawhid: the concept of the absolute Unity of God, the belief that God is One and 
indivisible, One - and Only One - God 

Tawwabin: the penitent ones, those who repented their reluctance to go to the rescue of 
Imam Husain (as) when he was confronted with Yazid's armies and who enlisted under 
the military command of al-Mukhtar and pursued those who massacred Imam Hussain 
ibn Ali ibn Abu Talib (as) and killed them 

Thiqat: plural of thiqah, a trustworthy authority 

"Ulema: plural of "alim, scholar-theologian 

Usui: the basics of jurisprudence 

Waqf: a piece of property dedicated for the promotion of any particular good cause 

Wilayat: supreme authority that combines both temporal and religious authority 

Zakat: Literally, it means "purification;" it is a compulsory 2.5% tax on one of three 
categories of wealth: 1) metal coins (gold, silver, etc.), 2) grain crops (barley, wheat, 
grain, rice, etc.), and 3) animals raised for food consumption. Zakat is somehow a 
complicated issue, and for details, readers are advised to consult books dealing 
with fiqh. Among its types are: zakat al-mal (taxable wealth accumulated during one 
full year), and zakat al-fitr (a tax to be paid by the head of a household at the 
commencement of the fast of the month of Ramadan). 

And surely Allah knows best... 



Sayyid 'Abd al-Husayn Sharaf al-Din al-Musawi